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Paramedic Returns to Glossop Health Crusade
Wednesday 21st October 2015 @ 08:49 by Tom Greggan

Community Specialist Paramedic Val Cochrane is back in Glossop to help local health services even better.

She is also here to find out where all the town’s defibrillators are so they can be instantly located in case of an emergency.

The North West Ambulance Service want to log every defib machine in the region, whether it’s in a pub, club, factory, shop, gym, cafe, school, library or local hall, on it’s database.

It’s estimated there are thousands of the life-saving portable machines in the North West which the service doesn’t know about.

So the Trust has launched a ‘Shocktober’ campaign to find out where they are, so that even if someone calls 999 in the event of a cardiac arrest, they can be directed to the nearest one. The machines are easy to use and will buy valuable time until the paramedics arrive.

Part of Val’s new role is to locate and register every defib in Glossop, but that’s only part of the job. She said: “My role is very new so I’m still establishing how I can best assist the community and the health services in the area.

“The role has been developed by North West Ambulance Service to support collaborative working between local community care teams, GPs and care commissioners, to promote a reduction in avoidable hospital admissions.

“All of the CSPs are actively producing and reviewing patient care plans in order to support and empower patients, enabling them to receive safer care closer to home.

“There will also be elements of education and training, to highlight how best to access services such as 999 or 111, showcasing alternative care pathways in the local community and supporting community first responder recruitment.”

Val and other CSPs are qualified and experienced paramedics, available to respond to 999 calls. Val joined the ambulance service in 1996 and qualified as a paramedic three years later.

She has recently worked as an Emergency Care Practitioner for Lincolnshire Community Health Services and East Midlands Ambulance Service as a paramedic before returning home to Glossop and her new role.

She said: “I want to make sure the people of Glossop have access to the best possible health services- for acute or chronic conditions. I also want to help educate the community in how to help themselves where possible.”

Val will be holding a public meeting in the next few weeks to outline her plans and to get to know people.

In the meantime if you have a defib, or know where one is, or if you see one, take a selfie with it and you can either tweet the photo via @NWAmbulance using the hashtag #findthedefib, giving as much information as possible regarding its location or send the photo via North West Ambulance Service’s Facebook page or email [email protected]

If you don’t want to send a picture, just e-mail the location details of the defib and NWAS will make sure the device is logged on the system and ready to use in the event of an emergency.