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LIVES responders open new facilities in Horncastle, Lincolnshire

By East Lindsey Target  |  Posted: December 12, 2012

NEW CHAPTER: LIVES now has a new head office based on Horncastle?s industrial estate. Ken Bush, pictured left, unveiled a plaque before being presented with a LIVES gold pin badge by trustee Peter Carlsson.

NEW CHAPTER: LIVES now has a new head office based on Horncastle?s industrial estate. Ken Bush, pictured left, unveiled a plaque before being presented with a LIVES gold pin badge by trustee Peter Carlsson.

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A LIFE-saving organisation has secured an even brighter future with the open of its new headquarters.

The Lincolnshire Integrated Voluntary Emergency Service (LIVES) has officially opened new facilities on Horncastle's industrial estate, off Spratt Close.

The organisation supports the emergency services with volunteers providing life-saving care until paramedics arrive at the scene.

The building has been designed from scratch to meet the needs of LIVES for the next 20 years.

LIVES had been at its former headquarters at the Horncastle War Memorial Hospital Centre since 2002.

In the 10 years they were there, they were finding they were needing more space for training and storage needs.

Paul Martin, office manager and treasurer said: "We have had the luxury of designing this building to suit our future needs.

"We felt it was very important to stay within Horncastle. It is the centre of Lincolnshire and best supports our volunteers for training"

The new headquarters has a large store room, two-and-a-half times bigger than the old one, and they now have the latest training aids for the First Responders.

Ken Bush has helped LIVES from its conception, with his garage once acting as a store room in the very early days.

He unveiled a plaque to mark the opening of the new headquarters and to mark his involvement and continuing support to LIVES, he was presented with a special gold LIVES pin badge by trustee, Peter Carlsson.

Only around five other gold badges have been presented so far.

Mr Bush said he was lost for words.

Speaking about how the LIVES organisation has grown, he said: "The fact we now have over 600 responder volunteers speaks for itself. I am very aware of their devotion that these people are giving to help others. It has been a great honour for me to be asked to do this opening."

Horncastle Mayor, Councillor Fiona Martin said: "This is a wonderful facility and I am extremely pleased and proud that LIVES continues to be based in Horncastle."

By the end of this year, LIVES predict that they would have attended around 12,000 call-outs.

Lives has 164 First Responder groups across Lincolnshire with 607 volunteer First Responders.

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  • stevebod  |  December 17 2012, 8:59PM

    i have been trained by (lives, st john ambulance, and recently by emas in nottingham to give and render first aid to the sick an injured, responders are in need of confidence building by dealing with patients and being appraised by people an services they respond for its not easy doing this skill it takes time and understanding its ok learning to do cpr,defrib, oxygen therapy,first aid to fractures,bleeding .patients its brilliant feeling to save a life and thats what we do its the red tape that tries to get in the way an politics. so give the go ahead and let us get on with it (lives helper)

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  • Andy Wilson Financial Services Ltd  |  December 17 2012, 12:41PM

    I am also a LIVES First Responder, with 8 years service. In a perfect world, LIVES would not be needed. In a perfect world you could expect a crewed ambulance to be turning up outside your home before you finish the phone call to the 999 service requesting help. However, in some cases in this real world this is exactly what happens when a LIVES Responder is despatched too. My team and I have had numerous situations where we bang on the door before the call has ended, and invariably we are greeted with relief by the family of the patient. Sadly, some patients die despite any interventions we can provide. However these patients would certainly have died if we were not called out to try and help them. The point about retention of skills if you do not get many calls is valid to a point. However, all volunteers are required to attend training sessions and to requalify as a competent Responder at frequent intervals. Those that don't make, or maintain, the grade are retrained or taken off rota. It should also be borne in mind that for the main part LIVES Responders, and other First Responders up and down the country, are there to provide BASIC life support only. This includes assessing a patient's condition so that a competent handover to the arriving ambulance crew can be given, saving them time; maintaining an airway, assisting breathing and maintaining blood circulation - it really is as simple as ABC. You don't easily forget what to do to keep someone alive until the Cavalry arrives, and the recent British Heart Foundation campaign featuring Vinnie Jones has helped to reinforce the fact that simple but effective CPR CAN save lives. First Responders have the advantage of being local to the patient and for the main part, knowing the local area well. Sometimes we don't get to the patient before the ambulance. Rather than criticise we should be grateful that the ambulance service is efficient enough to get their own resources to the patient so quickly.

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  • eatmygoal  |  December 17 2012, 11:21AM

    ""A study by Sheffield University showed that the ambulance service in Lincolnshire would have to be 3 times larger to replace LIVES First Responders, so the reasoning behind First Responders 'covering for lack of Professional staff' doesn't hold." That actually proves the comment re lack of professional staff." Perhaps we could go one better and have a type 1 A&E department in every village and town? Then a general hospital within 10 miles so the distance for an emergency transfer after a decision to admit is reduced. I mean with the best will in the world an Paramedic doesn't have the knowledge of a consulant. I think Lives are fantastic idea and sensible solution to the issues faced by a large, sparsely populated county.

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  • Singleton Associates  |  December 17 2012, 8:48AM

    Realist1976 If you are so concerned about the quality of responders training and skills fade, then why not put your money where your mouth is and join up and help them. It is very easy to sit in a chair and criticise, these guys do not get paid for the service they provide, they use their own vehicles at their own expense. Surely anyone can see that a person who gets to a critically ill patient and does something that aids that casualty is better than no one helping until an ambulance turns up. Incidentally regarding your comments about 30 secs making a difference. The brain starts to die after 3 minutes without Oxygen, after that you lose 10% of casualties for every minute that they are without Oxygen. Simple maths - 30 secs will save 5% of casualties or 1 in 20, if you are the extra one, I am sure that 30 secs makes a huge difference.

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  • marcus_hacker  |  December 16 2012, 9:05AM

    As a co-ordinator for one of the busiest LIVES teams in the county I can assure everyone that responders are fully competent for their role and do not have skill fade. We are not replacements for ambulance professionals but work alongside the paramedics and technicians. Responders live locally in the communities they serve and so can get to an incident quickly and safely to support the patient until the crews arrive and then if needed assist them. We are multipliers for the effectiveness of the excellent crews, able to make a real difference in peoples lives when they are often in most need. My team have attended over 900 calls in just under a year which averages at just over 2 calls a day and we are getting busier. In an ideal world there would be an ambulance on standby close to every community but this is just not feasible but thanks to LIVES volunteer responders there is almost always a responder on call within a mile of an incident.

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  • Realist1976  |  December 15 2012, 5:17PM

    "A study by Sheffield University showed that the ambulance service in Lincolnshire would have to be 3 times larger to replace LIVES First Responders, so the reasoning behind First Responders 'covering for lack of Professional staff' doesn't hold." That actually proves the comment re lack of professional staff. "In 2011 86% of calls attended the First Responder got there first" If they got there 30 secs before an ambulance is that really a significant benefit? "As for inexperienced, all Responders have 3 days training and carry an IHCD certification for First Person on Scene." Unfortunately training does not equal experience and with the best will in the world, an individual not exposed to incidents on a consistent basis will gain experience very very slowly.

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  • LIVES  |  December 14 2012, 1:51PM

    by Realist1976 My concern is that a lot of inexperienced individuals are covering (I accept in good faith and conscience) for a lack of professional staff within the county." I just wanted to qualify the reasoning behind First Responders, to get to anyone in Lincolnshire (N&NE) who has dialled 999 within 6 minutes. Yes the defibrillator is important to get there within 8 minutes but of 17,000 calls last year only 187 were to Cardiac Arrest, 38 were resuscitated before the ambulance arrived. A study by Sheffield University showed that the ambulance service in Lincolnshire would have to be 3 times larger to replace LIVES First Responders, so the reasoning behind First Responders 'covering for lack of Professional staff' doesn't hold. All that would happen if you trebled the Ambulance service is that First Responders would go to less calls, there would still be times when the ambulance service were busy and no ambulance was available, then you would use the LIVES First Responder. In 2011 86% of calls attended the First Responder got there first and accounted for over 200 lives being saved. As for inexperienced, all Responders have 3 days training and carry an IHCD certification for First Person on Scene emergency first aid, some Responders are trained to carry and use life saving drugs and work with LIVES Medics in serious trauma situations. They are special people who give up their spare time to volunteer and help their community, they arrive in the first vital minutes of critical situations and make a difference, all for £1 million a year, not much more than the cost of 2 ambulances……….

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  • Localperson55  |  December 13 2012, 11:54PM

    One of the most important things a responder will have with them is a defibrillator. Should you have a sudden cardiac arrest you will be very grateful to a LIVES responder who may live lierally round the corner turning up quickly with one of these. Minutes count and the paramedic may not be able to get to you in time. The LIVES Responder provide a fantastic service. They have my support.

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  • Realist1976  |  December 13 2012, 6:38PM

    "Many TA, RNR and RAFR members have never been to war, but they would know what to do if called on." Not entirely accurate! Yes they have a good understanding of the core skills; however, prior to any deployment with regular forces all reserve forces undergo a significant pre deployment training package. My concern is that a lot of inexperienced individuals are covering (I accept in good faith and conscience) for a lack of professional staff within the county.

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  • berleypops  |  December 12 2012, 9:03PM

    I am a LIVES first responder and in the 6 months ive been doing it ive attended over 25 calls. Im a volunteer, that means I'm not on call 24/7 but do as much as I can, and our group is pretty good at getting overall 24/7 on call when possible. I attend training monthly and more if I feel I need to. All calls ive been to have never been a waste of time, and have helped people in some way and more people should know basic life support, you never know when your going to need it. The new LIVES headquarters provides more space for training, holds more equipment and promotes the need for this charity. Statistics arent always whats important, its how many lives have been saved through this charity.

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