A Grantham recycling company is leading the way in the county as two of its workers have been trained as First Responders to help members of the public in medical emergencies.
Phil Upcraft and Tony Parslow have trained as LIVES (Lincolnshire Integrated Voluntary Emergency Service)volunteers. In a medical emergency they may be called out by the ambulance service to treat a patient within a three-mile radius of their Spittlegate Level site, keeping them alive while an ambulance makes its way to the patient.
Phil and Tony will also be able to work as volunteers from home. Phil lives in Grimsby with his wife, Carol, who also trained as a First Responder at the same time. Tony lives in Ruskington.
Stephen Hyde, LIVES fund-raising manager, said: “It makes a real difference when a company like Environcom recognises the importance of this in the community and allows its employees to go out to 999 calls. The company is unique in this respect in the county and I would like to see other companies doing the same.”
Environcom now has a defibrillator outside its offices ready for use, purchased and installed thanks to donations from nearby businesses and individuals.
Group health and safety manager Phil and health and safety officer Tony thanked the company’s directors for allowing them to be part of the scheme. Phil said: “We think there are 3,000 people working along Spittlegate Level alone and any one of them could be involved in a medical emergency and need assistance.
“The Environcom directors were 100 per cent behind us and we are grateful for their support.”
On Wednesday, the president of the Rotary Club of Grantham, David Burr, presented Environcom managing director Cris Stephenson with a cheque for £500, raised through the 2015 Swimarathon, to go towards the defibrillator.
Mr Burr said: “This is money raised from the community and now we are presenting it back to the community through a local business. So it is going full circle and I am sure it will do some good.”
Mr Stephenson said: “The guys persuaded me it was a good idea. We employ 230 people here so it seemed to me that at some stage somebody is going to need it so why would we not have it?”
EMAS community response manager for Lincolnshire Steve Pratten said he would like to see defibrillators in all workplaces.
He said: “It is a legal requirement to have a fire extinguisher in your business, but there is no legal requirement for a defibrillator. But more people die of cardiac arrest than they do in fires.
“As an ambulance service we do not have the resources we would like so what they are doing at Environcom is absolutely brilliant and a great help to us.”
Phil and Tony have been trained to level 2 which means they can respond to life-threatening emergencies – they cannot treat cases of trauma or children under 12.
To find out more about LIVES and how to become a First Responder go to www.lives.org.uk