Leighton newcomer wants to save lives
A Leighton newcomer who is already fulfilling his dreams of making a difference to people’s lives is asking for his neighbours to get on board.
By day, Stephen Bennett, 30, of Sandhills, works nine to five as a trainer for a housing association based in Hemel Hempstead, but by night is a dedicated volunteer community first responder (CFR) for the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust.
He said: “I have always found first aid and the work of the emergency services fascinating and thought it would be a very rewarding role.
“I have always been interested in job roles that make a difference to peoples’ lives and strongly believe in the measure of success being the contribution you can make to society rather than how much money you make.”
“Therefore the main reason for me applying for this role is my interest in the type of work and the difference I can make to peoples’ lives and my local area.”
CFRs volunteer in groups who are contacted by the service to attend “immediately life threatening” 999 emergency calls within the community they live or work in and often arrive before the emergency services because they are based so locally.
Volunteers receive free training to help them provide vital basic life saving skills which can make the difference in a life or death situation before the arrival of an ambulance.
Members of the group then take it in turn to be on call and carry basic first aid equipment and a simple-to-use automated external defibrillator.
As it stands, Stephen is a lone wolf because there are currently no CFRs in Leighton Buzzard, so the ambulance service is encouraging people who live or work in Leighton Buzzard or surrounding villages to become a volunteer. He said: “It is really exciting that this scheme has started in Leighton Buzzard but we need more people to volunteer to be able to cover as much of the week as possible.
“I am new to Leighton Buzzard but have a great love for the town already. Everything I do in my work life is to give back to my community.”
As well as juggling his new hobby, Stephen is a husband and dad – to Sarah and 15-month-old Joshua – and is also an in-house tutor/assessor for health and social care, customer services and housing, specialising in the care and support of people with learning disabilities and mental health needs.
Stephen added: “My wife is really proud about me doing it, but I had to talk it through with her first because it is a commitment.
“I think she is happy about the skills I have learnt though, if anything was to happen around the house. I would like to thank them both for their support as I could not have taken on this role without their backing.”
Simon Marshall, community partnership training officer for the ambulance service, said: “Anyone living or working within this community can get involved with the scheme either as a first responder, or to help with other vital aspects of the scheme as scheme co-ordinator, fundraising or general admin help to the group.
“It’s an incredibly rewarding experience and something which demonstrates great community spirit.”
For more about volunteering contact Simon Marshall on 01767 600822 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Leighton Buzzard
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 4 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North west