First responders needed for South Yorkshire

Graham Cliff Rotherham Community First Responder
Graham Cliff Rotherham Community First Responder
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A RETIRED youth worker who devotes his spare time to delivering life-saving care to members of his community has called for more people in South Yorkshire to do the same.

Graham Cliff, aged 64, joined Anston Community First Responder Team after stepping down from his day job at Rotherham Council two years ago.

Since then, he has been called out to help people in emergency medical situations – from heart attacks to patients who have collapsed or are having breathing difficulties.

Just before last Christmas, Graham received a call-out to a woman who was choking.

She stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest and Graham, from Rotherham, started CPR.

A paramedic came and he and Graham worked to clear her blockage and stabilise her, enabling her to make a full recovery.

Immediate care in the vital minutes before ambulances arrive make first responders an important asset to the communities they serve.

Graham said: “My work was quite demanding and when I retired I suppose I was looking for something to keep my brain working and keep me in touch with people.

“Since becoming a first responder I have attended quite a few incidents.

“Every job is different and you meet, and try to help, lots of different people.

“With some jobs there is not much intervention you need to do, but you can talk to the patient, reassure them, and be ready to assist when the crew arrive.

“It keeps me active and gives me something to focus on.”

Emma Scott, community defibrillation officer for Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: “Since the Anston scheme began in June 2011 the group, which consists of 11 volunteers, have attended 294 incidents, which means 294 patients in the local area have received extra assistance in life-threatening situations.”

n For more information email responders@yas.nhs.uk, visit the website www.communityresponder.yas.nhs.uk or call 0845 1203155.