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New life-saving service

PUBLISHED: 13:53 06 February 2008 | UPDATED: 14:27 07 July 2010

THE race is on to have a new life-saving service for the Mattishall area on the road by the spring.

A total of five men and women have just received the training and assessment they need to form a community first responders group, serving a patch that could extend from the village out to Clint Green, Garvestone and Barnham Broom.

THE race is on to have a new life-saving service for the Mattishall area on the road by the spring.

A total of five men and women have just received the training and assessment they need to form a community first responders group, serving a patch that could extend from the village out to Clint Green, Garvestone and Barnham Broom.

Now the group's founder, former heart patient Geoff Dorrie, is

busy contacting businesses and organisations to try to raise £3,000 or so to pay for the equipment and supplies to get things started.

The group will join the network of first responder teams set up across Norfolk to support the ambulance service by attending emergencies, such as patients suffering heart attacks or strokes, in the vital early minutes while paramedics are on

their way.

Mr Dorrie, a former teacher who runs classes in Mattishall to help people with a history of heart attacks to try to lessen the chances of a repeat, has been trying to set up a response team dedicated to one of Norfolk's biggest villages for many months.

He said this week that the training was provided free by the ambulance service but the group now needed to raise the cash for a defibrillator, oxygen set, distinctive jackets for the responders and other items.

Details of those essentials, plus a wish-list of other desirable equipment, were being circulated to organisations in and around Mattishall and Dereham. There had already been offers of help - including cash gifts to mark a group member's 40th birthday - and it was planning a 50:50 auction this year to boost its tally, he said.

The responders hoped to be able to launch at least a limited service between Easter and Whitsun if the money was pledged quickly.

Mr Dorrie said he was glad the scheme had moved forward at last. He added: “The figures show that, since April last year, there have been more than 100 calls within Mattishall that first responders could have gone to.

“Everybody seems very keen. It was a very good training course. It is now a matter of keeping the impetus going and getting things started.

“Another three or four people in the team would be good, too, because we could offer more cover.”

Call Mr Dorrie on 01362 850692 if you would like to sponsor the Mattishall team or are interested in becoming a first responder.

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