Twenty members of Laurencekirk and District Inner Wheel enjoyed a very informative talk given by Michael Gillies.
Michael, speaking after the Christmas break, is one of eight volunteers on the Mearns First Response team who help to provide a vital service to people in the Mearns. Living in a rural area, there are times when the Scottish Ambulance service is not able to meet the target time to respond to a call. So, working with the NHS, First Response is mobilised by the Ambulance service, after a 999 call indicating a stroke cardiac arrest, or accidents, not on the A90.
The responders step in until the Paramedics are able to get to the scene providing vital early intervention which could save lives.
It was interesting to learn that 25 to 30 volunteers would be needed to cover the Mearns area 24/7, so with just 8 at present, this was not feasible.
Michael assured us that new volunteers would certainly be very welcome!
As with any charitable group, fundraising is a necessary part of their work. Although the intensive week’s training is provided by the Ambulance service, Michael explained the running costs, the main one being to maintain and buy new equipment.
So even if we can’t volunteer, we can support local fundraising events.
With such support, a defibrillator has been purchased and is soon to be installed at the co-op in Laurencekirk.
After a vote of thanks, we welcomed our second speaker of the evening, District Chair, Laurie Macdonald.
She is the first American to hold the post, and shared some interesting stories of her upbringing in Chicago, and the sometimes difficult and amusing transitions she had to make, on moving to Scotland in 1996.
Her very worthwhile charity for the year is the Salvation Army, which all Inner Wheel groups in District 1 will be supporting.
More specifically, this is to help the Salvation Army raise money for a mini bus for the Community Workforce team based in Perth.
As 2014 is Inner Wheel’s 90th anniversary, (a good excuse to cut a celebration cake!) we were encouraged to raise the money, while promoting friendship, one of the organisation’s aims.