Bamburgh man named volunteer of the year

A Bamburgh man has received an award from the North East Ambulance Service for his efforts as a community first responder.

Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 14:07 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 11:31 am
Martin Spruce

Martin Spruce won Volunteer of the Year at the service’s Beyond the Call of Duty awards held last this month.

The 64-year-old, a self-employed electrician, is available every hour of every day to respond to patients when needed in his local area.

Martin said: “I love doing it. I care about people and the appreciation you get is tremendous. When I walk in they are frantic but when they see me, it’s the relief of having someone there.

“It’s down to us to do what we can until the ambulance arrives. I comfort people and I do my best. It’s not always easy, especially when I’m doing CPR on someone I know, but then the family come back to me and tell me what it means to them.

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“I did CPR on one lady for an hour and shocked her four times and she was talking to her daughter that night. When you’re able to do that, it’s really special.”

A citation read out at the ceremony said: ‘Whatever his circumstances when the calls come, Martin downs tools and goes to help save a life, with the support of his many customers. If that wasn’t enough, in the last six years of responding, Martin has also raised money for seven defibrillators for his area that can be called upon when someone’s life is in danger. And knowing what a difference good CPR can make in those early minutes to a patient’s survival, he also trains people in life saving skills at events on behalf of NEAS.’

Yvonne Ormston, NEAS chief executive, said: “Our Beyond the Call of Duty Awards give us the chance to reward just a handful of those who provide amazing care, skill and dedication to patients every day.”

She added: “Working for an emergency service regularly means putting others first at the expense of personal and family lives both on the front line and in a supporting role.”