A young Emergency First Responder for LIVES has been described as a ‘community treasure’ after she was named a winner in South Kesteven District Council’s SK Community Awards.
Ella Tapson has trained with and volunteered for LIVES since June 2018, responding to hundreds of 999 calls, and is now well on her way through paramedic training.
The 23-year-old from Little Humby was awarded the ‘Neil Smith Beyond the Call of Duty’ award, after her nomination praised her work attending emergencies from cardiac arrests to breathing difficulties. The nomination also spoke of her determination to learn new skills to ensure that lives can be saved.
As well as helping to save lives within her community, Ella also raises funds for LIVES, attending community events to ensure that the charity, which is reliant on fundraising, can support training and equipment for its emergency responders.
The life-saving volunteer was presented with her award by Candice Smith, whose late husband Neil, an SKDC employee up to the time of his sudden and untimely death, inspired the award. Neil saved their infant son Tommy’s life by administering CPR until a LIVES first responder arrived at the scene.
Ella said: “It’s a real privilege to be able to help people, sometimes needing to use the defibrillator that I carry and sometimes just to sit with them until an ambulance arrives. It’s wonderful to get recognition for what we all do and the difference that first responders make.”
Cllr Annie Mason, South Kesteven District Council Cabinet Member for People and Safer Communities launched the awards in the summer. She said: “I knew from our work with the community over lockdown just what amazing work goes on, much of it unrecognised.
“We wanted to shine a light on that, and I am thrilled with the results. These people and organisations are simply amazing, absolute community treasures.”