PENDLE MP, Andrew Stephenson, is asking people who signed up as NHS volunteers, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, to now consider becoming a community first responder.

Mr Stephenson has been a volunteer community responder with the North West Ambulance Service since 2014. In addition to his role as an MP and as a transport minister, he says he has completed more than 400 hours of volunteering since the start of the coronavirus outbreak in March.

He said: “Community first responders are volunteers who have been trained in the skills required to attend 999 calls received by the ambulance service, and to provide basic life-saving skills until the ambulance arrives.

“They volunteer within the local community where they live and work. When people suffer from a heart attack, how quickly they get help determines their chances of survival. Every minute counts. 30,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest each year but fewer than one in ten survive. Often, it comes down to whether someone nearby knows what to do and has the right kit to hand.

“That is why I chose to train as a first responder and have worked with various local groups and schools to ensure more defibrillators are available.”

He added: “Thousands of people answered the call to become NHS volunteer responders in response to Covid-19 and if only a handful of those decide to undertake training to become community first responders it would make a huge difference locally. People can apply online or find out more from my office and I would urge people to consider this way of supporting our NHS.”