Have you ever thought about what you would do if you were faced with a situation where someone needed immediate emergency treatment in front of you? What would you do?
We would hope that most people would probably dial 999 and stay with the patient offering comfort and re-assurance until emergency help arrives.
In our villages, the response time of an ambulance from Stoke Mandeville could be up to 20 minutes. Following a cardiac arrest your chance of survival decreases by 23% per minute, within 10 minutes your chance of survival has fallen to below 5%. Brain death starts just 3 minutes after Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
That is where Community First Responders are vital. When you dial 999, control will know how far the nearest ambulance is and as First Responders carry trackers when on call, they will also know how far they are. They are dispatched by control at the same time as the ambulance, but being local their response time is much faster in most cases within 8 minutes. Their duty is to preserve life, to start life support and to administer emergency treatment, to reassure the patient and monitor their condition until such time as the ambulance arrives.
Each CFR (when on duty) is equipped with a defibrillator, oxygen and an emergency kit. They are fully trained in the use of this equipment and are regularly re-assessed.
So could you be a Community First Responder? Are you calm under pressure? Can you work under your own initiative? Do you drive and own a vehicle? And are you over 18 yrs of age.
The selection process comprises of a home visit from a trainer to assess your suitability. Arranging insurance cover on your own personal vehicle. Attending a two day training course and followed by three shifts on an emergency ambulance. Training courses are then re-attended every six months on a one day refresher course.
The cost to the ambulance service for your training and kit is £3000.00. Currently CFRs can book on call whenever they wish, but this may be soon changing with a compulsory amount of hours per month that CFRs have to do.
This is a non paid community role, the rewards of this role is being able to assist a fellow human being in their hour of need. Saving a life has No price.
Pitstone parish council is delighted to say that Pitstone currently has two Pitstone residents qualified as CFRs covering Pitstone & the surrounding villages – Mr Keith Steers & Mr Jonathon Horn. As a mark of our gratitude and support for this amazing service, the parish council has funded the purchase of a second kit, as South Central Ambulance Service could only provide one kit between the two volunteers, to increase the amount of time they can spend on call and ensure that both CFRs are always fully equipped.
We would urge anyone interested in joining the Community First Responders to find out more about this scheme. 20 minutes is a long time to wait when it is your loved one or neighbour desperately in need of help, so the better coverage of CFRs we can secure, the safer we will all be. Please do give Keith Steers a call on 0789-9696722.