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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 June 2007, 12:03 GMT 13:03 UK
Life-saving aid for rural areas
Man receiving defibrillator treatment
Defibrillators deliver an electric shock to the heart
A first aid scheme that trains local people to provide medical help until an ambulance arrives is being expanded into rural parts of South Yorkshire.

The First Responder scheme enables volunteers armed with defibrillators to help heart attack victims in minutes.

It already operates in several parts of the county, including Cudworth, Darfield, Wombwell and Penistone.

Now volunteers in Royston, Hoyland, Shafton and the Dearne Valley are being asked to come forward for training.

As well as being taught first aid skills, they will be issued with a defibrillator which administers an electric shock to re-start a heart back to a regular rhythm.

Emma Scott, from Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: "We know that in many medical emergencies the first few minutes are critical.

"If effective treatment can be performed within those first few minutes, lives can be saved and disability reduced."

Open evenings are being held on 20 June at St Mary's Centre, Park Street, Wombwell, for anyone interested in becoming a First Responder.

Volunteers explain the importance of the role

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