When Julia Thompson collapsed at her remote cottage, her partner made two emergency phone calls – one to the ambulance, and the other to local guesthouse owner Julia Reid.
That’s because Julia Reid is a community first responder, and within two minutes of the call she was with the patient, carrying out vital checks, providing emergency treatment, and offering reassurance until paramedics could reach Edale.
Julia knew nothing of what had happened until she regained consciousness two days later in hospital – but was so grateful to Julia and the First Responder Unit she has now donated £100 towards new equipment.
She said: “I don’t know what might have happened if she had not been there. You don’t know how much you need this kind of service until you’re in trouble. It’s so important, especially in rural areas, and this donation is something I can do to keep it going.’
St John Ambulance works in partnership with the East Midlands Ambulance Service to operate the scheme in Edale, training teams of volunteers like Julia.
She knows also only too well how important the service is, having signed up to become a responder after receiving help when her father collapsed.
Julia is now a regular member of the Hope Valley CFR unit and renowned throughout her home village as ‘the Edale Responder’.
She said: “It can take a while for an ambulance to get all the way out here, which is why the scheme is so important. The ambulance service alert me when they receive the 999 call and it usually takes me just a couple of minutes to be there in an emergency.”
Over the last two years she has been called out more than a dozen times, to help everyone from neighbours to visiting campers and farmers in the fields.
She said: “It’s good to be able to help when people are in trouble and it’s wonderful when someone wants to help us in return. St John Ambulance is a charity and donations are vital to keep the work going.”