Ipswich/Witnesham: Couple prepare for Valentine’s meal...but they will be keeping their eyes on their phones

Mark and Julie Deer, community first responders who are celebrating Valentine’s Day

Mark and Julie Deer, community first responders who are celebrating Valentines Day - Credit: Stephen Waller

COUPLES across Suffolk will tonight be celebrating their love on the most romantic day of the year.

Mark and Julie Deer, community first responders who are celebrating Valentine’s Day

Mark and Julie Deer, community first responders who are celebrating Valentines Day - Credit: Stephen Waller

And while Witnesham couple Mark and Julie Deer will be enjoying each other’s company over a meal, both will be ready to ditch their plans at the drop of a hat.

Mark and Julie are both dedicated community first responders who are always prepared to attend life- threatening emergencies.

Mark, who works at the county council, said: “I remember one year when we were going out for my birthday. I got a call before we’d even set off out of the door.

“We came home to get changed afterwards and were called out again; this was for a cardiac arrest and we were able to help restart the patient’s heart that had stopped by using our defibrillator.

“We did manage to relax in the end and enjoy our evening but then went to an incident on the way home as well.”

Julie and Mark, both 42, have been married for five years and first met through St John Ambulance about 18 years ago, when they were on duty at Foxhall Stadium for the stock car racing.

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They set up the community first responder scheme in Ipswich and in the last 10 years they have been called out on average twice a day.

Julie said: “We both enjoy what we do and for us it’s about giving something back to the community.

“You just never know what you’re going to meet when you turn up at the address. I had a call once about a person with breathing difficulties – when I got there they were in cardiac arrest.”

Community first responders are volunteers who go to life-threatening emergencies.

People interested in becoming community first responders will receive training and equipment. For more information, call 01954 712400.