Thursday 19th June 2014 – 12.45pm – Chris Kowalik.
An appeal has been launched for Community First Responders (CFRs) in Shropshire.
Volunteers are particularly needed in and around Shrewsbury, Wem, Shawbury, Ellesmere, Clun Valley, Ludlow, Clee Hill, Market Drayton, Newport, Shifnal, Albrighton and Cleobury Mortimer.
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.
Community Response Manager Cliff Medlicott 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 Cliff Medlicott on 07884 050 877, or the CFR Admin office on 01384 215 855 or CFRAdmin@wmas.nhs.uk
Applicants will be interviewed in August. Successful interviewees will be invited to attend the next training course (four weekends over eight weeks) beginning in September.