Learning how to save lives

Tuesday 1st July 2014 – 12.15pm – Chris Kowalik.

On Sunday 22nd June, eleven people completed the latest training course for Community First Responders (CFRs) in Shropshire.

CFRs are everyday members of the public who are trained by West Midlands Ambulance Service in a number of assessments and lifesaving techniques.

Two of the eleven are Katie Harris from Cleobury Mortimer and Catriona Kidd from Chirbury.


Pictured above left to right: Katie Harris and Catriona Kidd.

Katie explained why she decided to become a Community First Responder: “I’m involved with First Aid through my job and I have a bit of spare time so I thought I would put it to use. The course was good, not too hard. Each step was broken down step-by-step to allow us to learn it and it was revisited to allow us to digest it and understand each part.”

AUDIO: Katie Harris:

Catriona outlined what the course covered: “Everything from trauma situations to medical; diabetes, asthma attacks and basic life support. There is a lot to take in. I find it very interesting myself. I just enjoyed it.”

AUDIO: Catriona Kidd:

Having completed the training, the eleven have to undertake observational shifts with ambulance crews before they can join the already established 122 fully active CFRs in the county.

Then, when they have some spare time, they can make themselves available to be contacted by the ambulance service’s control room.

They may be asked to respond to medical cases in their area while an emergency ambulance vehicle is en-route.

The numbers of Community First Responders in Shropshire will continue to grow with the training of a further fifteen at a fully-booked course in July.

West Midlands Ambulance Service is now recruiting for a further training course in September. It is appealing for volunteers in Shrewsbury, Wem, Shawbury, Ellesmere, Clun Valley, Ludlow, Clee Hill, Market Drayton, Newport, Shifnal, Albrighton and Cleobury Mortimer.

Community Response Manager Cliff Medlicott said good CFRs are “people who are committed to providing the best possible care for members of their community at the worst times in their life.”

AUDIO: Cliff Medlicott speaking on Saturday 21st June:

For more information about becoming a Community First Responder, contact West Midlands Ambulance Service Community Response Manager Cliff Medlicott on 07884 050 877 or the Community Response Department on 01384 215 855 or CFRAdmin@wmas.nhs.uk


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