Pam, who was awarded with an MBE in 2019 for her dedication to voluntary service, began working as a community first responder in 2002 after seeing an advert looking for people to be trained to use defibrillators.
She notes: “We were activated to jobs using a basic mobile phone and had to use maps to find the address of the incident; not an easy job, especially in the middle of the night.
“Since then, there have been many improvements in our level of kit, and certainly for me working in rural Rothbury, the latest smart phone pager with built in navigation has been a huge step forward.
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“I have gained a lot from being a community first responder; it makes you realise how life can be changed in an instant, so to appreciate what we have and never take life for granted.”
She was among 280 volunteers recognised at a ceremony in Newcastle last Thursday, organised by the NHS Foundation Trust.
NEAS deputy chief operating officer, Victoria Court, said: “It is an incredible honour to be able to celebrate those who are such a core and vital part of our service. Without them, we would have struggled during the pandemic to provide the care that we have.
“Whether they are responding to incidents in their local communities or making sure patients far and wide get to an appointment for the treatment they need, our volunteers are ensuring that our promise to deliver the best care possible is met, often with a big smile.”