Volunteers recognised

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DEDICATED volunteers first on the scene to thousands of 999 calls have been recognised with special awards.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal was presented to six members of Sudbury Community First Responders by deputy mayor Adrian Osborne, for five years of attending emergency calls for the East of England Ambulance Service.

Local co-ordinator Ray Cook said that since starting the group in 2006, volunteers have responded to between 2,500 and 3,000 calls.

“We’re all volunteers who use our own cars and kit and don’t get paid anything and we go out on life-threatening 999 calls for the ambulance service,” said Mr Cook.

The group helps patients suffering breathing and diabetes-related difficulties and cardiac arrests in Acton, Newton Green, Great Cornard, Great Waldingfield, Sudbury, Long Melford and Bulmer.

Fundraisers Maureen Edwards, Janis Richards and Janet Read were also given a Diamond Jubilee badge for five years of service.

Medals were also given to members from groups in Clare, Glemsford, Nayland, Hadleigh and others.

An ambulance service spokeswoman said: “We are delighted. They are invaluable to us and can be the difference between life and death.”