Lifesavers desperately need new defibrillator

Ben Hawkins with the defibrillator which needs replacing
Ben Hawkins with the defibrillator which needs replacing
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Lifesavers are calling on the public to help fund a new defibrillator to help treat people suffering a cardiac arrest.

Community first responders from Folksworth, who attend emergency incidents in Peterborough alongside the ambulance service, need to raise £2,000 in two months for the crucial piece of equipment as their current defibrillator will be out of date from December.

Ben Hawkins (19) is part of a two man team which attended 143 emergency calls from October 30, 2016 to October 1, 2017, having been on call for 5,681 hours during that time.

He said: “We are called in the day and night when we are available. When we go to bed at night we keep our phones on all night and go out at two to three o’clock in the morning.

“We then go to work the next day.

“We enjoy doing it, we just need help now. People never know when they will need us.”

The current defibrillator proved crucial earlier this year when Ben helped save a woman in Peterborough city centre who had suffered a cardiac arrest.

He said: “We were lucky to keep her alive and hopefully she’s enjoying her everyday life.”

Without a defibrillator, the chance of surviving a cardiac arrest decreases by 70 per cent, he added.

Ben covers the Ortons and sometimes Peterborough city centre as a community first responder, as well as Folksworth, Stilton, Yaxley, Sawtry, Glatton and Holme.

And to raise funds for the defibrillator he is doing a 13,000 feet skydive at Sibson Airfield on December 1.

He said: “Just thinking about it gives me butterflies and pins and needles. I’m terrified - I’m so scared of heights. I have no idea how I’m going to do it but I’ve got to do it.”

Ben wanted to thank The Fox at Folksworth for donating £100 towards the new defibrillator. To donate, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/folksworthresponders.

Factfile

Community first responders are people who volunteer for the East of England Ambulance Service and respond to emergencies in their area. They are often first on the scene to 999 calls and can provide vital first aid while ambulance crews are on the way to the scene.

Ben drives to emergency incidents in his own car and has no blue lights.

However, back in May a ‘first responder’ identification sign on his car was stolen.