Lincolnshire Lives First Responder Steve King recognised as community champion
A life-saver who has responded to more than 3,000 emergency call-outs in the 11 years since his own recovery from a heart attack has been named as his town's community champion.
Market Rasen Rotary Club has bestowed the honour on Steve King for his dedication to the Lincolnshire Lives First Responder service.
The 69-year-old retired racecourse stable manager was surprised to collect the award at Tuesday night's Rotary carol service at the Methodist Church.
Now a senior Lives trainer, Mr King still goes on the rota with wife Jenny to turn out to 999 calls to administer vital treatment to patients with life-threatening illnesses and injuries.
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Development officer responsible for more than 30 Lives groups across the north of the county, his part-time role dovetails with more than 100 hours a week as an on-call Market Rasen Responder.
"I had a heart attack 16 years ago and four years later my wife Jenny launched the Market Rasen Lives group," said Mr King, of Churchill Avenue.
"At the time I was too busy to get involved, but one night I drove her to a call where a woman was complaining of chest pain – and I just joined up.
"Since then, I've kept busy building up my skills, helping to train others and launching new groups.
"In the first year I only had nine call-outs but now I'm on-call for about 100 hours a week I can get five or six a day.
"It would be impossible to say how many lives you've saved because all the calls are different.
"But I've administered defibrillation to many cardiac arrest patients who have survived – so in their cases it's definitely life-saving.
"I had no idea I was up for the award from Rotary, but it was a lovely surprise in front of so many people.
"And I really do still think it's an honour to help so many people at their time of need."
Lincolnshire Lives recruitment manager Stephen Hyde confirmed that Mr King was playing a major role in the organisation.
"Three thousand call responses is a huge number in any circumstances, particularly as the retention for First Responders is an average of four years.
"Steve is heavily involved with all our departments and he thoroughly deserves the award.
"It reflects the dedication that our volunteers all show to their communities."
Market Rasen Rotary Club's community service chairman Ray Pearson announced the civic honour.
"Steve attends various calls from respiratory difficulty, falls and cardiac arrests at home to road traffic incidents and is the first medically trained person on the scene," Mr Pearson said.
"He is one of very few volunteers trained to level four and is able to attend category A calls – which are the most life-threatening – in the Market Rasen area.
"His early intervention before the arrival of paramedics is the difference between life and death – especially across Lincolnshire's rural isolated communities.
"Steve gives talks on Lives, his passion and gentle humour shining through, inspiring others.
"He is a true ambassador and well thought of in the Market Rasen area."