Sheringham first responder wins Uniformed Hero of the Year award

Nathan Liberman, 55, volunteer with Sheringham Community First Responders

Nathan Liberman, 55, volunteer with Sheringham Community First Responders, has won Uniformed Hero of the Year at the 2021 North Norfolk News awards. - Credit: Daniel Hickey

Nathan Liberman says he doesn't enjoy publicity.

So when the 55-year-old volunteer for Sheringham Community First Responders (CFRs) accepts the trophy for Uniformed Hero of the Year, in the 2021 North Norfolk News Awards, he prefers to deflect the attention from himself.

"The real unsung heroes are the families of the volunteers," he says.

The group responds to 999 calls on behalf of the East of England Ambulance Service across the town and surrounding areas including Cromer, Gresham, Bodham, Weybourne and sometimes Holt. 

"My wife Tania and my two children have been putting up with it all these years. I basically only do nights, so I go out at 2am and come back at 4am," Mr Liberman says.

"With us coming backwards and forwards at weird times and sometimes not being back for Sunday lunch, which is a big thing, it's not easy for them.

"All the responders' families need a thank you."

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The volunteer group was founded in 2007 and Mr Liberman joined that year.

"My mother-in-law heard about it and suggested I look into it. I was working as a dental technician in Great Yarmouth at the time," he said.

Originally from London and having settled in Sheringham 20 years ago, Mr Liberman is trained in first-aid and has been responding to emergency calls since he was 18-years-old.

The pandemic has been challenging. "It's been harder because we've had to take a lot more precautions. There are guidelines on what we've got to wear when we see a patient, PPE-wise."

Nathan Liberman

Nathan Liberman, 55, winner of Uniformed Hero of the Year at the North Norfolk News awards, thanked his family. - Credit: Daniel Hickey

He said the work is about "giving back to the community".

"North Norfolk is fairly isolated, so it's giving people the extra chance before an ambulance can get to us.

"It's very rewarding meeting people around the town and them thanking you and family thanking you for what you've done."

He said the award was an "amazing recognition".

Sheringham Community First Responders and Tesco

Nathan Liberman, of Sheringham First Responders, with Nick Smits, manager of Tesco Sheringham. - Credit: Tesco

Last month, the CFRs bought a new defibrillator with funds donated from a number of local Tesco stores.

The group, which attends around 40 incidents every month, is always looking for new volunteers.

Donations to the group's appeal can be made online, search for Sheringham Community First Responder Group on JustGiving.com.

 Anyone interested in finding out more about joining the group can find out more at www.eastamb.nhs.uk/join-the-team/community-first-responders.