LIVES is grateful for each and every one of our volunteer Community First Responders and Medic Responders. Their actions literally save lives, delivering vital immediate medical care in those critical first moments of an accident or emergency.

For International Women’s Day, find out a bit more about one of our female Responders, Marie. An inspirational woman who does incredible work.

“I joined Boston College in July 2019 post leaving The Royal Navy after 20 years as an aircraft engineering avionics technician supervisor. I never thought about going into teaching however it was LIVES that opened this pathway for me.

I joined LIVES in April 2016 after stumbling across it at the village council meeting. From there it’s grown! I’ve worked my way up through the levels as a responder with the drive and ambition to be better and develop myself further, giving me more skills to help my local community.

I already had a teaching qualification however never utilised it to its full potential. I started helping at district training level, teaching the local responders, then I stepped up and ended up teaching for LIVES at its HQ.

Teaching is something I’m really passionate about; to have the knowledge and ability to give someone a lifesaving skill and support their confidence is something that money can’t buy. Not only can they then help their community but it also has a ripple effect across the whole Lincolnshire: To be able to give someone the ability to give the gift of time is priceless.

If I hadn’t joined LIVES and had the training that I received in the early days I wouldn’t’ have had the confidence in my own abilities. I would have never stepped into teaching. Although teaching engineering is slightly different to teaching medical lifesaving skills, the rewards are the same. Having the ability to influence our younger generation and support them in achieving their own goals and dreams is, once again, priceless. This is what drives me.”

What do you enjoy about being a LIVES responder?

“The family community that we have between all the responders and the support and network of friends: Nothing is ever unachievable and they’ve always seen my potential and supported me to drive forward.

To think that before I was a responder my free time was not used for anything where now, 99% of my free time outside of work is given to others to help them where ever I can. This can be through responding attending to 999 calls in my own community, to training responders from my district each month to ensure they are comfortable with the skills they’ve been given to use.

My role is to keep their skills sharp and ensure they’re prepared as best they can for every eventuality when responding.

I also help to teach new recruits at HQ, revalidate our current responders and also teach a range of courses to external candidates from local businesses (e.g First Aid at Work). I’m also a part of LIVES’ FALLS team who respond to those in the community who have fallen and could have been waiting hours for an ambulance.”

What is your most memorable job and why?

“My most memorable job that currently sits at the top of my list is when I responded to a fall which turned out to be a cardiac arrest. I was the first to arrive and was initially sent to get the patient up off the floor. It wasn’t meant to be life-threatening. I remember seeing their relatives’ face when they asked me to help – when I got to the patient I realised they were in an extremely bad way and I needed to stay strong for their relatives stood next to me.

I managed to get the patient’s heart restarted and, after the ambulance had left, I remember getting back in my car outside the patient’s house and just sobbed. I’m not sure why I cried, we got the patient back. I don’t normally get to hear the outcome of our patient’s, however, I knew the crew and they were able to feedback to me. Unfortunately, I was informed that despite our best efforts and although the patient’s heart was beating, they just couldn’t breathe on their own. This is heart-breaking to hear as we always want what’s in the best interest in all of our patients and we want them to survive. I was told that even though they didn’t survive the family had time to get to the hospital to say goodbye in a dignified way.

I gave them the gift of time. Even if it was just for the family to be able to say their farewells, without the training and support and faith that LIVES have put into me and other responders, we wouldn’t be able to give this gift.

I’ve also used the experience and knowledge I’ve gained from LIVES within my role at work, where I teach teenagers. LIVES has given me the ability to show them there is more to life, everyone has more to give and every small step of kindness can mean so much to a complete stranger.

Thank you for everything you do Marie.


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