Residents of a rural caravan park have been learning how to save lives in the crucial minutes before an ambulance arrives.

The Shortferry First Responders went live for the first time yesterday.

The medical team, at Shortferry Caravan Park in Fiskerton, near Lincoln, will now be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Jackie Morton, who is co-ordinating the responders, said they decided to set it up because they live in a remote area.

“We are so rural here and if we needed to call an ambulance it would take a while for them to get here,” she said.

“So this could really save lives. There are a lot of elderly people who live here and I worry that if one of them had a heart problem, the ambulance might not get to them in time.”

The team is armed with a defibrillator, which gives electric shocks to people who have a heart attack. The machine has sensors and only gives shocks to people who need them.

It cost £4,000 to buy and the residents rallied together to raise the cash.

Mrs Williamson said: “I wrote to hundreds of groups asking for donations or gifts for a raffle.

“We held events like auctions and coffee mornings. We started raising the money last August so we’re pleased with how quickly we got it together.

“We’re now going to continue to fund-raise to keep the service going, which we estimate will cost around £1,000 a year.

“It’s such a community project. Everybody has worked together and I’m proud of the First Responders who all passed their test first time.”

The responders undertook a training course and had to take a test at the end of it.

They will have monthly sessions and be reassessed every year. All the responders are giving up their time voluntarily.

Pam Hayes (60), was poised for action once the emergency phone went live.

“I feel confident after the training that I would know how to cope in an emergency,” she said.

“We learned everything, from when that phone goes, to getting to the home and being there until the ambulance arrives.

“We learned how to use the oxygen, how to resuscitate someone and how to use the defibrillator.

Jeff Brown (60), retired, is another responder. He said: “There are about 100 people living here are up to 250 when the weekenders come.

“Our service is for the people on the caravan park and we want to be self-sufficient.

“We largely keep people comfy, talk to them and resuscitate them if necessary.

“It takes an ambulance around 14 to 15 minutes to get out here so the time before that can be crucial.”

The team is now on call, waiting for the first time they are contacted.

Mr Brown said: “We are not as young as we were anymore and we are going to need each other. This way someone will always be around to help someone else out.”