Wednesday 29th January 2014 – 11.50am – Suzie Fothergill.
A volunteer community first responder from Staffordshire has recently attended to his 1,000th incident on behalf of West Midlands Ambulance Service.
Over the last six and a half years the Madeley community first responder (CFR) group has responded to 1,641 incidents and have volunteered a massive 21,450 hours of cover. One of the responders from the scheme hit a tremendous milestone this month after attending his 1,000th incident.
Dave Frost, who is also the scheme’s co-ordinator, has been responding for just over six years and has given up 13,000 hours of his own time to help assist the ambulance service and to help hundreds of people within his local community.
CFRs are trained by the ambulance service to a nationally recognised level and maybe requested to attend to medical emergencies such as cardiac arrests, chest pain, diabetic emergencies, strokes and breathing problems.
Community First Responders can quickly help reach those people suffering from medical emergencies in the remote rural communities, prior to the arrival of an ambulance. In many illnesses or injuries the first few minutes are critical and simple interventions can be performed in order to save lives or prevent disability.
All CFR schemes are entirely self-funded through charitable donations. These funds are put towards responder kits, which include automated external defibrillators, oxygen and masks and bandages to name just a few.
Talking about his role as a CFR Dave said: “My youngest daughter used to suffer very badly from Asthma attacks. Due to us living in a rural location it could sometimes take a little while for emergency help to reach us when we needed it and we would panic. A friend of mind mentioned the local responder scheme and suggested it might be worth my while finding out more about it.
“I’d always had a general knowledge of first aid through the training I’d undertaken at work, so I decided I would take the next step and join the scheme. I haven’t looked back since, I love helping the local community and I can be found responding most weekends.
“The scheme has a close working relationship with Paramedics and other emergency staff from the ambulance service. The information and knowledge they have passed on to each and every one of the team over the years is invaluable and we are extremely grateful for that.”
Victoria Tufail, WMAS Community First Response Manager said: “This milestone is a massive achievement for Dave and the scheme, he and the team have undoubtedly gone above and beyond to help their local community.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dave, along with all the CFRs within the region, for giving up their own time to help others. CFRs are vital in rural communities and it is without doubt that thanks to their efforts, dedication and actions, lives have been saved.”
The Madeley scheme are always on the lookout for new responders; if you live in the area and are interested in finding out more please contact Dave via 07887 807 854.
If you would like more information about becoming a CFR elsewhere with Staffordshire or the wider West Midlands Region please visit: http://www.wmas.nhs.uk/Pages/CFRs.aspx
To become a CFR volunteer, you should be:
• Aged between 18 – 70
• Have a current clean driving licence
• Be physically fit
• Be able to provide time when you can to attend incidents whether at home or work
• Have a caring nature and be willing to help raise the profile of the schemes in local areas
Pictured: Victoria Tufail (WMAS) with Dave Frost and the Madeley responders, with Mascot Theo.