A Lincoln man has helped save lives during the 2,000 medical emergencies he has attended in 10 years of working as a Community First Responder for the charity LIVES.
Bill Barber is a dedicated volunteer who has progressed to now being at Level 4. This means he can attend some of the most serious medical emergencies, including those involving children and infants.
The 60-year-old has always been interested in the medical world and, after his friend had two mini strokes on the same day in October 2010, it prompted him to start his career with LIVES. He qualified as a Community First Responder in January 2011.
It can be difficult for an ambulance to reach a patient quickly when they live in rural areas, like many Lincolnshire villages, which is why Bill continues to be part of LIVES.
He said: “To do 2,000 jobs for LIVES is a great honour and achievement. It is a great feeling to have had the opportunity to meet all of these people in their time of need.
“Along this journey, I have met so many fantastic pre-hospital colleagues, including our own LIVES medics and Community First Responders.
“I think the most rewarding aspect of being a responder is making a difference and being there for the people in your community in their time of need.
“Living in a more rural area, where ambulances can take longer to get to patients, a fast response by LIVES is vital. Minutes really do matter.”
Nikki Cooke, CEO at LIVES, said: “Bill is the ultimate LIVES responder. He’s someone who’s always there to help. We’ve received so many messages of praise and thanks for Bill from patients, families and colleagues that we’ve lost count!
“Bill has been there for so many people over the years and it is only right that we recognise this and the incredible achievement of attending 2,000 emergencies on behalf of LIVES. Thank you, Bill. We hope you’ll be responding for many more years.”
LIVES turned 50 last year and continues to support its communities in Lincolnshire by responding to medical emergencies when a 999 call is made.
The charity relies on the support and generosity of the public and each year it needs to raise £1.4 million to ensure the Community First Responders and Medic Responders have the lifesaving training and equipment they need. They are taking donations online here.