THREE hundred and twenty seven people became community first responders (CFR) this year after training from the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST).
And service bosses are urging those interested in helping patients in their community to sign up and join the almost 300 CFR groups in the East.
Steve Catley, Lead Community Collaboration Manager for EEAST, said: “New Year is a time for making resolutions and setting goals for the forthcoming year. By becoming a CFR you will be joining a big family of life-savers and will be making a vital contribution to your community and the ambulance service.
“We are privileged to have so many dedicated CFRs who give up a lot of their time to volunteer. However, you can still make a difference if you can only spare a few hours a week.”
First responders are trained by EEAST, usually over a weekend, to respond to medical emergencies including cardiac arrests, patients with chest pain, breathing difficulties, allergic reactions and diabetes emergencies.
Because CFRs volunteer where they live or work, they often reach a patient before the arrival of an ambulance clinician. Every second counts when someone is not breathing and CFRs are trained to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and carry defibrillators.
Groups in Clacton, Harwich, Braintree, Witham, and Loughton are particularly keen to hear from new members.
Here’s a blog post from one of our Essex CFRs
For more information about becoming a CFR and opportunities to become a volunteer car driver or Trust User Group member, visit http://www.eastamb.nhs.uk/join-the-team/community-first-responders or see our 42 second animation at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdWE2v8_3yc