Friday 29th August 2014 – 12.30pm – Chris Kowalik.
Ian Thompson is one of Shropshire’s first ever Community First Responders, one of a growing band of people who give up their spare time to attend medical emergencies while an ambulance is en-route.
Pictured above: Ian as a Community First Responder
He began his voluntary role in 2000; something he still does whilst off-duty, but now utilising his paramedic skills, in addition to now also being the co-ordinator for 25 CFRs in Bridgnorth District, covering Bridgnorth, Highley, Alveley, Claverley, Broseley, Much Wenlock and Norton.
In 2003 Ian gave up his full-time job in the motor industry to pursue a professional career in the ambulance service. He started as an Emergency Medical Technician (the grade before paramedic), then completed a Foundation Degree at the University of Worcester allowing him to become a paramedic in 2009.
Pictured above: Ian as a Paramedic
But he continues as a volunteer in Community Response, explaining: “There’s the cliché about ‘giving something back to the community’ and I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t part of my motivation for volunteering as a CFR all those years ago – as I’m sure many more of our volunteers will also agree. There is a huge sense of reward and achievement when you are able to help somebody in distress – and in such diverse ways. It could be the fact you are providing simple comfort or reassurance, right through to the worst case scenario of cardiac arrest, where you are able to help try and resuscitate someone.
“In the fourteen years I have been involved with the ambulance service, both as a volunteer and a full-time clinician, I have seen how the CFR schemes have become an important link in pre-hospital emergency care, especially in rural areas such as Shropshire.”
If you would like to become a Community First Responder in Shropshire, visit www.wmas.nhs.uk or contact the Community Response Department on 01384 215 855. Successful applicants will be invited to attend the next training course which begins on January 10th, 2015