Monday 24th February 2014 – 10.30am – John Hawker.
An appeal has been made for new volunteers to become lifesaving Community First Responders (CFRs) in South Warwickshire.
Ettington Community First Responder Scheme is looking to increase the number of First Responders so that it can enhance the level of cover that it provides to the local communities. Although the Scheme is named after Ettington, a village five miles outside Stratford-upon-Avon, it covers a much larger area than just Ettington and volunteers are being sought who live in any of the villages in its coverage area. These villages include Alderminster, Armscote, Crimscote, Ettington, Fulready, Halford, Newbold-on-Stour, Pillerton Hersey, Pillerton Priors and Tredington.
Community First Responders are everyday members of the public who are trained in life-saving techniques, including the use of a defibrillator. They are essential in areas that are remote and hard for an ambulance crew to reach quickly. Their availability, close proximity and local knowledge are among their many assets. Community First Responders will be called by the ambulance service’s control room to medical emergencies in their area to provide first-person-on-scene attendance whilst 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.
Ettington CFR Scheme (ECFRS) was launched in June 2009 and, since then, has responded to over 700 emergency incidents at the request of WMAS. In 2013, the team responded to 216 incidents.
Scheme Co-ordinator, Alison Joyner, said: “We are appealing for further volunteers to join our team as CFRs so that we can increase the level of cover that we provide in our communities. We understand that people who are potentially interested may be concerned about having to be available on specific days and times and could find this restrictive. We do not operate a fixed-rota system so this means that CFRs can book on duty at times which fit in with their work and personal commitments. If the team is to maintain its momentum and, better still, to grow, it’s important that we increase the number of CFRs. In return for your commitment, you’ll be joining a lively and vibrant team, you will gain new skills and you will get immense satisfaction from making a real difference to your community”.
“We are also appealing for fundraising volunteers to join the team. In this role, you would not have any medical duties. The role would be to organise fundraising events and to liaise with local businesses, parish councils and community organisations to help promote the team and to raise its profile. Although all our time is provided free-of-charge, it costs over £4,000 per year to keep the team running; this is to fund equipment, the team car and other operating expenses“.
WMAS Community Response Manager, Bobby Qayum 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 license 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’”.
“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 becoming a Community First Responder, please
visit http://www.wmas.nhs.uk and find the ‘CFR’ page under ‘About us’. To apply, please contact Bobby Qayum, WMAS Community Response Manager, Coventry & Warwickshire on or contact the CFR admin office at 01384 215855 or CFRAdmin@wmas.nhs.uk
For more information about joining the team as a fundraising volunteer, please contact team directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about Ettington Community First Responder Scheme, please visit: www.ettingtoncfr.org.uk
- Photo – Ettington Community First Responder Scheme
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