Brave Luke saves lives

A PLUCKY student has been recognised for his work saving lives with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

Saturday, 3rd September 2011, 8:16 am

When he’s not studying for an IT degree at Leeds Metropolitan University, Luke Thompson, of Wayne Close, Batley, works with paramedics as a volunteer first responder and is trained to attend life-or-death 999 calls.

He said: “We go out to category A calls, which are situations that are life-threatening, such as heart attacks or seizures – the people that really need us there within the eight minute response time the ambulance service set.”

Luke signed up to the service in February 2009 and went on a two-day course with Yorkshire Ambulance staff, where he was taught to use a defibrilator, resuscitate people and use other medical equipment.

He said: “We have a mobile phone and the dispatch team at Yorkshire Ambulance headquarters sends information about the calls that are really important.

“We get the call and decide whether to go after checking it’s suitable for us to attend. I go to calls an average of 15 to 20 times per week – when I get some free time I like to give back to the community.”

Earlier this year Luke was called out to help an elderly man who had had a heart attack.

He said: “I used the ECG machine, gave him oxygen and tried to reassure him that he was going to hospital and would be checked out.”

Luke then accompanied the patient’s wife in the back of the ambulance and stayed with her at the hospital until she had heard news from the doctors.

“I was there to keep her company, reassure her and make sure she was ok,” he said.

Before training to be a first responder, the 22-year-old had little medical experience but is now hoping to become a nurse or paramedic.

He said: “I have a passion for caring for people. I really enjoy it.”

As a result of his work with the Ambulance Service, Luke was nominated for the annual Rotary Young Citizen Award by Batley Rotary Club.

Club secretary Patricia Taylor, who also volunteers as a first responder and coordinates the Batley group, first met Luke when he joined her team.

Ms Taylor said: “Luke has been involved in saving people’s lives right from the beginning.

“He has shown a remarkable caring side when dealing with patients.

“He will, I am sure, continue to work for the ultimate benefit of our local community.”

Although Luke did not win the national award, he received a certificate from Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland to recognise his work and nomination, which was presented to him at the club’s meeting last week.

He said: “I’m really pleased I was nominated.

“What I’m doing for the community is an achievement in itself, and it’s building up my confidence.”