First responders undergo training

FIREFIGHTERS, members of the public and a neighbourhood warden turned out for training as First Responders.

The 11 took part in a day-long training exercise at Steyning Methodist Church hall and learned how to operate defibrillators – costing 2,000 – which could save a person's life.

Responder schemes, successfully set up in several places in Sussex, involve groups of people being trained to support the Sussex Ambulance NHS Trust in responding immediately to serious medical conditions, including those which may be life-threatening.

Joe Marshall, of Sussex Ambulance Service, led the instruction. He said that despite the group having to take in a lot of information, they had all done well.

"It was a long, intensive day, but it went extremely well. They will have an assessment in two weeks' time. We are hoping they will all pass," he said.

Steyning neighbourhood warden Louise Sunderland was one of the group being trained.

She said: "It was good. The kits were much more user-friendly than I thought they would be. It is amazingly simple.

"A lot of people get put off by the responsibility of first aid, but it is so simple practically anyone can do it."

The Wilson Memorial Trust, a charitable trust, has promised to match community fund-raising for the defibrillators, matching them one-for-one up to a maximum of six units – a total contribution of up to 12,000.

Anyone wishing to donate money to the scheme, sponsored by Steyning Rotary Club, should contact Martin Leigh-Pollitt on 01903 812007.

Anyone wanting to join the next training session should contact Tony Faraway at Sussex Ambulance Service on 01273 489444.