A FIRST Responders team has been presented with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award for Voluntary Service.

St Neots-based Allan Oliver, Adrian Moore and co-ordinator Rob Moir were given the prize for 10 years of dedicated service.

The trio, who all have medical backgrounds, became First Responders a decade ago after seeing there was a need for people in the community to respond to emergencies before paramedics were able to attend.

"I felt we could make a difference within a few minutes of where we live," Mr Moir said.

"All you need is for a couple of people to survive in your care that wouldn't have otherwise to feel you have made a difference. If you're going to be the first person on the scene, you're going to be the one to help them."

The First Responders scheme was set up by the charity Magpas in St Neots in 2002 so volunteers would be on call for any emergencies in their area. It has since become part of the East of England Ambulance Service.

Team members go to approximately 80 visits each per year but most of the time the incidents the First Responders attend are, thankfully, not life threatening, Mr Moir said.

"They just need someone there who can take control and help them" he added.

However Mr Moir, who has a background with the Red Cross, said each visit to home on an emergency call was a "step into the unknown", adding: "Even after 10 years, you still turn up and experience things you haven't experienced before."

One of his proudest moments was bringing a patient technically classed as dead back to life, which he says highlights the importance of having people available to assist on the ground.

"The three have assisted in more than 10 successful resuscitation attempts plus countless calls that have prevented the condition of the patient worsening," Mr Moir added.

INFORMATION: To become a Community First Responder, contact the East of England Ambulance Service Responder Administrator on 01954 712400 or email responderadmin@eastamb.nhs.uk