Cardiac arrests are the ‘bread and butter’ for CFRs

Cardiac arrests are the bread and butter for CFRs

Tuesday 22nd September 2015 – 1.00pm – Claire Brown.

Two volunteer life savers had a shockingly successful first shift recently in Solihull.

Recent recruits Lizzie Hobday and Sarah Wilson worked their very first shift as Fastaid Birmingham and Solihull Community First Responders (CFRs) at the start of September and, three 999 calls in, they ended up saving a man’s life.

CFRs are members of the public from all walks of life who give up their spare time to help make a difference in their communities. All are trained by West Midlands Ambulance Service to a nationally recognised level and help to reach those people suffering from medical emergencies prior to the arrival of an ambulance. Sarah and Lizzie began training to become CFRs in June and became fully operational at the start of September.

The pair joined forces on Saturday 5th September into the early hours of Sunday 6th September to respond to 999 calls. Lizzie, a stay at home mum, said: “Sarah and I trained together so we wanted to do our first hours on call as a pair.  We kept the Saturday night free to respond and after two calls we were going to sign off for the night when this 999 call came through on the radio just before 1am on Sunday morning.”

Sarah, a serving police officer, continued: “We were first on scene to find an elderly man in cardiac arrest in his bathroom at home in Solihull and, despite not much room, our training kicked in. We started CPR, established an airway and put the defibrillator pads on. We were glad to see the ambulance crew arrive just a few minutes later.”

Lizzie added: “I remembered our Community Response Manager say during our training that ‘cardiac arrests are the bread and butter for CFRs’ but we didn’t bargain attending one on our first shift! When the ambulance crew told us the man had a cardiac output, we were over the moon. It’s what we had trained for, to save lives.”

Andy Jeynes, Community Response Manager for Birmingham and Solihull, said: “What a fantastic achievement for Sarah and Lizzie on their first shift as CFRs. Calls like this are exactly what CFRs are trained for and it’s the main reason they volunteer their time to help their local community. The sooner you can start CPR on someone in cardiac arrest the better their chances of survival.”


Notes to Editor:

A selfie photograph of Sarah (left) and Lizzie (right) during their first shift.

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