AFTER almost 20,000 hours of responding to more than 1,000 patients a community volunteer is stepping down.

John Price is retiring from being a Community First Responder (CFR) in Bishop’s Waltham after nine years.

To celebrate his retirement from the frontline John has shared a few of his responding highlights.

Following a career as a consultant engineer and with no prior medical knowledge, John trained to be a Community First Responder and has been able to bring his skills of working with people together with a drive for innovation and improvement to the Bishop’s Waltham CFR team – constantly working to improve the efficiency of the response to emergency situations.

After attending more than 300 heart attacks over the last nine years, John found himself experiencing the patient’s view of the Community Responders last year when he suffered his own cardiac event and was attended by another team member.

As one of John’s roles within the group has been in setting up training scenarios for the responders, there was a moment when the responder on-call wasn’t sure whether he was being tested or in a real-life situation. Fortunately, due to very swift treatment, John has made a full recovery.

As well as responding, John has spent hundreds of hours to improve the maps that the CFRs use so that all the house names and numbers for our area have been identified meaning that the on-call responder doesn’t waste time searching for the correct location.

He has also pioneered the use of flashing lights on responder vehicles, or as near as possible to the patient, which help the ambulance crews identify the right house. He was involved in revising the handbook for CFRs and is responsible for setting up challenging imaginary scenarios to test the skills and improve the training for local responders.

During his time as a Bishops Waltham Community First Responder, the group won the National Heart Safe Award 2017 and most recently was awarded the prestigious Queens Award for Voluntary Service in 2020.

John says that being a responder is the most rewarding thing he has ever done.

The group has thanked John on behalf of all of the patients that he has brought life-saving skills, professional support and comfort to over the years.