Volunteer ‘giving back to community’
Retired man will respond to life-threatening emergencies after taking training course
A VOLUNTEER with an ambulance service says that he put himself forward for the role because he ‘wanted to give something back’ to the community.
Paul Highett-Smith of Holtspur, Beaconsfield, has recently completed his training with the South Central Ambulance Service, along with three other volunteers.
The group undertook a two-day training course at Wexham Ambulance Station, in Slough, run by Marc Lister, a paramedic and community liaison officer.
They then observed a shift with a front line rapid response vehicle watching clinicians at work in order to gain an understanding of how the service deals with patients every day.
Mr Highett-Smith, who is recently retired after working for a medical
Paul Highett-Smith (right) with fellow volunteers Grant Luckman, Nicole Proffitt and Les Owen company said: “I’ve been interested in medical things for the past 15 years because of my job. I retired in June this year and I wanted to put something back into the community.
“I heard about volunteering with the ambulance service and decided it was something I’d like to be involved in.”
The volunteers will respond to life threatening emergencies including cardiac arrests, heart attacks, strokes, seizures, diabetic emergencies, children’s illnesses and injuries and other conditions.
They will be equipped with a medical rucksack which will contain oxygen, bandages and airway management devices and will volunteer a minimum of 20 hours per month.
Mr Highett-Smith said: “It was quite an intensive course, but the idea is to get us prepared so that we are completely ready when we volunteer.”
The service is still on the look out for more people to come forward and volunteer. The minimum requirements to join are a driving license with no more than three points, no criminal convictions and the ability to perform effective CPR.
To find out more, go to www. southcentralambulance.nhs.uk, call 0800 5870207 or email cfr@ scas.nhs.uk.