Bassetlaw first responder scheme founder honoured with 'One Big Thank You' from BBC1's The One Show

The co-ordinator of a Bassetlaw-based Five Villages First Responder scheme has received praise and from TV celebrities after being nominated for a surprise ‘One Big Thank You’ as part of BBC’s The One Show.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 10:20 am
Updated Thursday, 13th May 2021, 10:42 am

Martyn Johnson got more than he was expecting when he arrived for a recent team training evening.

Little did he know that Community First Responder Karen Hibbert had nominated him to receive the accolade for his voluntary dedication to the team and his local community.

Karen said: "I nominated Martyn because he has been leading our responding group since 2004, he manages the team, he leads our training, organises all our equipment and raises funds too. I think he will be very modest when he receives the surprise but I hope he will be really pleased too."

Community First Responder coordinator Martyn Johnson (centre right) with team members including Karen Hibbert (centre left).

The surprise thank you aired on The One Show on BBC1 on Thursday, May 6.

Viewers saw Martyn arrive at what he thought was a routine training session at Misterton's Fire Station.

The evening started with the First Responder team watching what Martyn was led to believe was a training DVD, but he soon realised all was not as it seemed when TV presenter and former Police Officer, Rav Wilding, sprang the surprise over a live video link.

Hidden cameras and microphones had been planted in the room and Rav shocked Martyn by suddenly thanking him for all his work saying: "Martyn you have been providing lifesaving treatment for the last 17 years and on behalf of everyone at the The One Show I just want to thank you for all your amazing work."

The surprise was then continued as Martyn was led outside to find a small socially distanced crowd of friends, family and team members.

A big screen then began to play heart felt messages of thanks from fellow colleagues, patients who he has helped over the years and some of Martyn's favourite celebrities too, including comedian Matt Lucas, former football player and Match of the Day host Gary Linker and radio DJ Dave Pearce.

There was hardly a dry eye in the house when Misterton resident Rebecca Ford then thanked Martyn on behalf of her family for the time when he responded to her baby nephew.

She said: "Six years ago my beautiful baby nephew was lifeless and in distress, but without you being so selfless and responding and giving him the vital oxygen that he needed, that night could have been completely different."

Rebecca went on to say that he is now a fit and active 6-year-old boy and was in fact that night busy enjoying playing a football match.

Martyn was a founder member of the FVFR team and has continued to be the volunteer coordinator and a responder in his spare time, as well as working as a full-time paramedic and operations manager with East Midlands Ambulance Service.

The voluntary group currently consists of 14 dedicated members and has gone from strength to strength over the last 17 years, attending hundreds of 999 calls annually in support of the ambulance service.

The Five Villages First Responder team are always on the lookout for support and for new volunteers who would like to become Community First Responders.

For more information see the website or the teams page on Facebook.

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