Back our own emergency medics

PUBLISHED: 10:59 23 November 2006 | UPDATED: 13:36 04 May 2010

THE things you have to do when you write a column! Last week I was forced to eat a whole piece of birthday cake so that I could find out a bit of information. The occasion was the second birthday of the MAGPAS First Responder scheme in Soham. You are prob

THE things you have to do when you write a column! Last week I was forced to eat a whole piece of birthday cake so that I could find out a bit of information. The occasion was the second birthday of the MAGPAS First Responder scheme in Soham.

You are probably aware of the MAGPAS 'flying doctors' whose GPs and hospital doctors rush to accidents with equipment supplied by the charity, but you may not be so familiar with the work of the first responders.

A first responder is a trained person who gets to an emergency (often a heart attack or similar) in double-quick time and attends to the victim until the ambulance arrives. Obviously, the sooner the person is helped, the better their long-term chances of survival. To date, the Soham volunteers have had 166 calls and have been available on standby for 13,000 hours.

Currently, there are six first responders in Soham with two more under training. As you can imagine this doesn't come for nothing and each community has to fund its own scheme. As you would expect Soham digs into its pocket and keeps its scheme solvent. One of the main fund-raising events is the annual Rotary collection under the Christmas Tree outside the Blue Donkey offices in the High Street each December. Once again the old boys of the Rotary club will be getting cold each Saturday starting on the December 2, so drop them a few coppers as you pass by.

INFO: To find out more about the MAGPAS first responders scheme in Soham call 01480 371060.

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