Student paramedic Philippa Nilsen.

Great North runners are all heart

A team of runners will have saving hearts at the forefront of their minds this Sunday when they are stood on the start line at the SimplyHealth Great North Run.

Ten very special individuals will be running in aid of North East Ambulance Service Trust Fund to raise money for public access defibrillators.

Amongst the team are two NEAS staff, senior health advisor Terri-Anne Maine and call handler Jacqui Henderson, as well as student paramedic Philippa Nilsen.

The North East Ambulance Service Trust Fund was set up to give those people who want to make a gesture of thanks to the service, the opportunity to donate to the charity. One of the initiatives that the Trust is looking to build funds for is to install 60 publicly accessible defibrillators in higher risk areas throughout the region.

Approximately 60,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest out of hospital in England every year and of these, 28,000 patients will have resuscitation started or continued by the ambulance service. A cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival falls by around 7 to 10 percent with every minute that defibrillation is delayed.

Chair of the North East Ambulance Service Trust Fund, Douglas Taylor said, “Our charity seeks to support local communities with lifesaving equipment which can make the difference in the early stages of a cardiac arrest. When someone rings 999 for a patient in cardiac arrest, our call handlers can see where the nearest defibrillator is located to inform bystanders. Support from these runners is really valuable in raising both money and awareness and on behalf of the charity and the Trust, we are hugely proud of their efforts.”

To support the charity’s runners and find out more about their personal stories, visit: or donate directly at,, and

Survival rates for cardiac arrest patients is 8.6%. This is significantly lower than for populations in other developed countries like Holland (21%), Seattle (20%) and Norway (25%).  Currently, the rate of initial bystander CPR in England is reported as being 43% compared to up to 73% in other countries.

To find out more about community defibrillators visit: or to make a general donation to the North East Ambulance Service Charitable Fund, click: /get-involved/making-a-donation.aspx

The North East Ambulance Service covers 3,200 square miles across the region. In 2017/18 the service answered over 1.4 million emergency 999 and NHS 111 calls, responded to 280,00 incidents that resulted in a patient being taken to hospital, treated and discharged 27,000 patients with telephone advice and treated and discharged over 100,000 patients at home. In the same year, clinical crews responded to 126,746 of our highest priority patients within the national targets and scheduled care crews completed almost 580,000 patient transport journeys.

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