February 28, 2014 | Armistead News
A group of community-based first-aiders in South Lakeland have taken delivery of vital new life-saving equipment thanks to a four-figure grant from a renewable energy developer.
The 21 members of Endmoor and District Community First Responders have been trained by the North West Ambulance Service to provide basic life saving techniques, including Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), oxygen therapy and the use of Automated External Defibrillators, so they are able to attend medical emergencies in the local area ahead of the Ambulance Service’s arrival.
The volunteers provide an important early intervention in this rural area, particularly in the event of a suspected heart attack, and the treatment they can give can increase the chances of patients’ survival and full recovery.
Demand for the Responders’ services has been increasing, with up to a dozen call-outs taking place every month across the five parishes that they cover, so in order to extend the range of equipment available to the team, the Responders have been given a £1,000 grant from Banks Renewables, via their Armistead Wind Farm Community Fund, which is linked to the nearby Armistead Wind Farm.
The grant has been put towards the purchase of a set of life-saving equipment, which includes an automated external defibrillator, high visibility jacket, kit bag, personal bum bag, twelve month pager rental and miscellaneous medical equipment. The equipment is kept in the volunteers’ homes to increase the speed at which they can respond to call-outs.
The Responders’ service is available to anyone aged 12 and over, and the group’s members attend monthly training sessions to help keep their skills and knowledge fully up-to-date.
Martin Smith, chairman at Endmoor & District Community First Responders, says: “Each of our members has their own set equipment that’s kept in their homes, meaning they can be out of the door as soon as they’re paged and attending an incident within just a few minutes.
“It can sometimes take a little time for an ambulance to reach communities like ours from Kendal or Sedbergh, especially in the more remote parts of the area, and the local knowledge and swift treatment that our volunteers provide can make a real difference to a patient’s short and long-term condition, especially when it comes to things like heart attacks.
“We carry out a lot of fundraising ourselves to pay for the equipment we use, as well as going for grants such as the one Banks Renewables has generously given to us, which will save us a lot of fundraising time and work, and will also make equipment available for when new people sign up to join us.”
The Armistead Wind Farm Community Fund will provide up to £307,500 of community funding from the revenue of the Armistead Wind Farm over its 25-year lifespan to help make a positive, long-term difference to local voluntary groups, environmental projects and community facilities in the area.
Banks Renewables is also the company behind Killington wind farm, which would be situated on land between the A684 Sedbergh Road and Junction 37 of the M6, and the overall development package for the Killington project, which was approved by South Lakeland District Council’s planning committee in January, also includes up to £1.25m of funding for local community and environmental improvements.
Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at the Banks Group, adds: “In a remote area such as South Lakeland, it can difficult for ambulances to get to medical emergencies as quickly as they’d like to, which makes the work of the Endmoor First Responders even more important.
“Any local resident or visitor could find themselves needing the group’s help at any point, and we’re very pleased to be supporting the crucial work that they do across local communities.”
Anyone interested in joining The Endmoor and District Community First Responders should visit www.endmoor.org.uk for more information. No medical knowledge or background is required, as full training will be provided.
Projects, community groups, or voluntary organisations in the vicinity of Banks’ Armistead Wind Farm that are looking for funding should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342.