THE dedication and hard work of Peter Knapton was recognised when he was chosen as one of a number of Community First Responders (CFRs) honoured at a special celebration day marking 20 years of CFRs operating across the region.

The event, staged by the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) at Castle Green Hotel, Kendal, began with an exhibition of the work of CFRs and continued with a glitzy awards ceremony, hosted by ITV Granada’s Paul Crone, where ‘remarkable responders’ from across the region were recognised for exemplary service.

And Mr Knapton, from Sedbergh, was among those given a gold award for his work, which included setting up the CFR team in his local area and on one occasion, driving behind an ambulance with a worried mum to a hospital many miles away in the middle of the night and later taking her home.

“Over the past 20 years, our CFRs have undoubtedly saved countless lives and the role has evolved and grown significantly during this time," said NWAS regional community engagement manager Andrew Redgrave.

“They have supported the ambulance service in training the public in life-saving skills and helped lobby for changes in education which will see children learning basic life support in schools from next year.

“The fact that these people give up their time willingly to help those in need is commendable and we’re really glad to have been able to celebrate them at this fabulous event.”

To find out more about how to become a CFR, visit