A responder's story - LIVES.
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This is
A responder’s story

To protect his anonymity, we’re calling him ‘Brian’

“I was overwhelmed by the kindness showed to me by my support network.”:

LIVES has an army of volunteers across the county who give up their time to attend 999 medical emergencies in our region. Regardless of the medical emergency, the incidents and accidents that some of our Emergency First Responders can be called to can have a significant impact on their own wellbeing. Here we tell the story of one such Emergency First Responder who was deeply affected and look at the ways he was supported by his LIVES family.


He gave up a few hours to be there that day. It’ll stay with him forever.

In 2018 just before Christmas, LIVES Emergency First Responder, Brian, was called to attend a 999 emergency, which turned out to be a suicide attempt. When he arrived on the scene, other emergency services were also in attendance and working with the patient and their family. The house was small and the room would only allow three people in at a time, due to the size.

Brian recalled: “I had been to many other calls like this one and they had not affected me, but this really played on my mind. I couldn’t get into the patient and my role was ‘hands-off’ providing the necessary equipment to the doctors and paramedics on the scene.

I remember rushing back and forth, up the stairs from the response vehicles and back to the patient, I found it hard not seeing how I had made a difference. After some time, the patient was taken to hospital and I continued to work on ensuring all equipment was taken from the house. As I was leaving a family member who was understandably upset met me on the drive. I found this incredibly hard to cope with.”


We can be there. Because we’ve been there.

Many frontline workers will know when a call has impacted on a colleague and they will rally to help. The paramedic on scene, who also volunteers for LIVES, made sure the support network kicked in. Within the hour, Brian’s friend was at his house and a care call was made by Head of Operations at LIVES.

Brian added, “From a coffee with a friend to a discussion of the medical outcomes, I really felt supported. It was important to me to have a full network of people I could talk to and ask questions. I was overwhelmed by the kindness showed to me by my support network.”

LIVES ensured a structured follow-up was made within a fortnight and that their Medical Director and the paramedic who was on scene talked through any issues and provided the signposts to ensure that Brian could access further support and counselling.

“I learnt through talking to my support network that my role was just as important, the team who were ‘hands-on’ needed my knowledge and skills to get the right equipment when they needed it, and that role is vital. LIVES often say ‘it takes a team to save a life’ and I know this really is the case.”


LIVES needs to fundraise £1.4 million a year to train, equip and support volunteers, who are currently attending calls like these, even during COVID-19.

Support our vital work by making a donation.

Find out more about our Mental Health First Aid Course by emailing [email protected].

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