Life saving gem

Wednesday, 28 November, 2012

A volunteer lifesaver has been praised by East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust staff for his service to the community after attending 170 calls.

George Heighway, 63, from Ibstock became a community first responder (CFR) for East
Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EMAS) in 2009.

David Poulton, EMAS' Clinical Education Development Specialist, who is also a CFR in Coalville and Ibstock, said: "George was one of the first CFRs to join our local group. He's shown absolute dedication and been a real asset to EMAS. He has taken being a good neighbour to another level by helping with 170 calls in his local area."

Problems with arthritis have caused George to finally hang up his kit but the volunteer has reminders every day of how rewarding the role was. George said: "During my time as a CFR I've dealt with some of the most serious conditions including heart attacks and strokes. As the calls were close to home I get to see patients when I'm out and about who are making a good recovery and that is rewarding."

The former contracts manager for a civil engineering company volunteered as a CFR when he was made redundant. He had previously also volunteered as a Special Constable. He said: "I had first aid training in my job and as a volunteer Special Constable but I was interested to do more.

"When I was made redundant I knew I wanted to find something to fill my time in a positive way and the role was perfect. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend becoming a CFR to others."

Karlie Thompson, EMAS' assistant director of operations for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, said: "George should be proud of his volunteering and the contribution he has made to his community. I'd like to take this opportunity to publicly thank him for his commitment and others like him."

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