A life saving day out

MP Andrew Selous with Community First Responders Stephen Bennett and Donna Young     MPLO
MP Andrew Selous with Community First Responders Stephen Bennett and Donna Young MPLO

Founder of the Leighton-Linslade First Responders, Stephen Bennett, was enthusiastic when quizzed about the progress the group has made in the last two years – and its participation in last week’s Independents’ Day fundraiser.

The Leighton-Linslade First Responders are a group of people trained by the East of England Ambulance Service to respond to 999 calls in Leighton Buzzard and surrounding area.

Stephen was 30 when he founded the group in 2012.

He said: “When I moved to Leighton Buzzard I discovered there was no First Responders group, and most of our ambulances have to travel from Luton and Dunstable.

“We now have five members, and two more joining in the coming months.”

The Independents’ Day event, organised by LB First, promoted high street shops, and included a stall to inform and raise funds for remote defribillators that can be placed in the town.

Stephen said: “Each defribillator costs £2,000 to set up, and we’re hoping to make £1,000 from Independents’ Day fundraising.

“We also have a few pots of money coming from other sources, for example The Friday Club and the Freemasons have made donations.”

Chairman of LB First, 42-year-old Genarro Borelli, added: “The defribillators cover a radius of 400 metres. Your chances of survival from cardiac arrest with CPR are five per cent, compared to a defibrillator which is 50 per cent.”

The Leighton Linslade First Responders and LB First also worked alongside the Rotary Club of Leighton-Linslade, Central Beds Council and Leighton-Linslade Town Council to prepare for the event.

Stephen said it was important that the drive for more defribillators was a joint action: “They are Community Access defribillators, and we want the community to fundraise for them, side by side as a town”.