Thursday 4th September 2014 – 2.00pm – Suzie Wheaton.
Thirteen brand new volunteer lifesavers have successfully passed their assessments and are ready to respond to medical emergencies in their local community.
Community First Responders (CFRs) are member of the public from all walks of life with this cohort of students being no different with a restaurant manager, carers, lifeguards and business sales personnel all giving up their time to help make a difference.
CFRs are groups of volunteers that respond to emergencies on behalf of West Midlands Ambulance Service, prior to the arrival of an ambulance. All CFRs are trained by the Ambulance Service to a nationally recognised level and help to reach those people suffering from medical emergencies in the remote rural communities fast. 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.
The thirteen pupils recently undertook the First Person on Scene Intermediate course over a period of seven days at the Carillion depot in Cannock. The week long course finished on Thursday 28th August after the pupils completed their final assessments which included a written examination followed by a basic life support practical test.
The CFRs now have to complete a number of observational shifts with ambulances crews before they are able to respond solo within their communities, which will include Burntwood and District, Hednesford, Stone, Gnosal and Featherstone.
Prior to this latest cohort of student there were 263 CFRs within Staffordshire; some work alone as an individual, whilst others may belong to one of the 32 groups currently operating within the County.
Victoria Tufail, WMAS Community Response Manager said: “West Midlands Ambulance Service prides itself on having excellent community schemes that are in place around the region. CFRs are vital in rural communities and it is without doubt that thanks to their efforts, dedication and actions, lives have been saved.
“Eighty-five percent people who suffer cardiac arrests have the ability to be corrected by defibrillation. The quicker someone is defibrillated, not only improves the chance of their survival but it can also help to improve the chances of a full recovery and the time it takes to do so. For every minute a patient is in cardiac arrest, their chance of survival decreases by 10 percent.
“I would like to take the opportunity to thank Carillion in Cannock who kindly offered their facilities to us free of charge to train the students.”
For information about schemes outside of Staffordshire please visit http://www.wmas.nhs.uk/Pages/CFRs.aspx
If you are interested in becoming at 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
The Community First Responder Schemes are entirely funded by charitable donations. Many CFRs actively carry out fundraising events to help raise money which goes towards funding responder kits, automated external defibrillators and some schemes even choose to purchase a car to aid them with their response.
For more information please email Staffordshire Community Response Manager, Victoria Tufail via firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
Pictured: New recruits with trainers and Carillion representative (top right)