Wednesday 24th September 2014 – 3.30pm – Suzie Wheaton.
Community First Responders (CFRs) are members of the public, from all walks of life, who volunteer their time to help make a difference in their local community.
CFRs help to reach people suffering from medical emergencies in remote rural communities, prior to the arrival of an ambulance.
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.
CFRs are trained by the ambulance service to a nationally recognised level. The First Person on Scene Intermediate qualification is delivered to new CFRs over a period of seven days. The week long course is assessed through a number of written and practical examinations. On successful completion of these, each CFR must undertake a number of observational shifts with ambulances crews before they are able to respond solo within their communities.
Victoria Tufail, WMAS Community Response Manager for Staffordshire 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.
“CFRs can be called upon to attend to medical emergencies such as cardiac arrest, strokes, falls and breathing problems amongst others. With approximately 850,000 adults suffer a cardiac arrest every year and ninety percent of them have the ability to be corrected by defibrillation, the more quickly a patient in cardiac arrest can be defibrillated the greater the chance of survival. For every minute a patient is in cardiac arrest, their chance of survival decreases by 10 percent.”
The Trust is currently looking for CFRs within the following areas:
Brown Edge and Endon
Flash and Longnor
Draycott in the Clay
Wetton and Alstonfield
Anyone living outside of these areas who are interested in becoming a CFR is also welcome to register their interest.
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
For more information please email Staffordshire Community Response Manager, Victoria Tufail via firstname.lastname@example.org or vall 07920 278447
For information about schemes outside of Staffordshire please visit http://www.wmas.nhs.uk/Pages/CFRs.aspx
Notes to editors
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.