Appeal for Volunteer Lifesavers in Worcestershire

Wednesday 9th October 2013 – 10.35am – Chris Kowalik.

An appeal has been made for Community First Responders (CFRs) in south Worcestershire.

Volunteers are particularly needed in Broadway and surrounding villages.

CFRs are everyday members of the public who are trained in lifesaving techniques including the use of a defibrillator, a device used to restart the heart of someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest. Their availability, close proximity and local knowledge of the area are among their many assets.

CFRs will be called by the ambulance service’s control room to medical emergencies in their area while an ambulance is en route. They are vital in life-threatening situations, particularly in the case of a cardiac arrest, stroke and trauma when every minute counts.

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Volunteers responding in and around Broadway would be part of the Vale of Evesham Community First Responder scheme. Scheme co-ordinator Mark Heesom said: “We are appealing for enough volunteers to join us so there is someone available to respond twenty-four hours a day across the whole of the Vale of Evesham.”

Community Response Manager Noel Orbell said: “Volunteers come from all walks of life. When they make themselves available to respond they can continue to go about their daily lives, but if an emergency call is received by the ambulance service within a five or six mile radius, they are sent and always backed-up by an emergency ambulance service vehicle.

“To volunteer, you must be aged 18 or over, have a full driving licence and lots of enthusiasm.

“Help will be provided in obtaining the necessary equipment and no previous experience is necessary as West Midlands Ambulance Service will provide the training.

“Applicants will attend a nationally recognised training course covering Basic Life Support and Defibrillation, Medical Emergencies, Traumatic Emergencies and Preparing for Active Duty. They will then train alongside ambulance crews before going ‘live’”.

Michelle Brotherton, West Midlands Ambulance Service General Manager for the West Mercia area said: “We really support Community First Responders and call upon them to help their local community. Community First Responders are an integral part of the ambulance service. The work they do is outstanding and is greatly valued. It’s about giving something back to their local community. In a life-threatening case every minute makes a difference.”

For more information about the work of Community First Responders or to become one yourself, contact West Midlands Ambulance Service Community Response Manager Noel Orbell on 07980 094808, or the CFR Admin office on 01384 215855 or CFRAdmin@wmas.nhs.uk

Ends

Written by officialwmas

West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) covers a geographical area of approximately 5,000 square miles and serves a population of 5.6 million people living in Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Coventry & Warwickshire, Staffordshire and the Birmingham & the Black Country conurbation. The Trust has a total number of 4000 members of staff and uses 864 vehicles.

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