Hundreds take first steps to volunteering for Harlow’s ambulance service

Communities / Mon 20th Jun 2016 am30 10:03am

HUNDREDS of people have taken the first step to becoming a volunteer life-saver in the East of England.

A successful National Volunteers’ Week (1st-12th June) has resulted in more than 600 community first responder (CFR) application forms being downloaded so far this month.

The region’s ambulance service spent the week celebrating the contribution of CFRs and other volunteers, resulting in more people learning to save a life.

There are more than 1,500 CFRs in the East and almost 300 groups trained by the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) to respond to medical emergencies where they live or work.

The Trust ran a CFR takeover last week (w/c 6th June), which included a recruitment evening in Luton, that signed up 12 new volunteers. The East’s newest CFR group in Mulbarton, Norfolk, had a launch event, Stanford and Corringham CFRs in Essex received a donation boost of new resuscitation manikins and training facilities and Freethorpe CFRs unveiled a new public access defibrillator in Moulton St Mary, in Norfolk.

Gary Morgan, head of Emergency Operations Centres for EEAST, said: “Our volunteers make a vital contribution towards helping patients in their communities. Because they attend emergencies locally to where they live or work, they can often reach a patient within a few minutes. This can provide vital and immediate care before an ambulance crew or response car arrives, particularly in rural areas.

“It is fantastic that we had so much interest from potential new CFRs during volunteers’ week. Hopefully this will lead to lots of new volunteers being trained to join groups in their communities in the coming months.”

First responders are trained to respond to life-threatening emergencies such as cardiac arrests, patients with breathing difficulties, chest pain, and allergic reactions.

For more information, see http://www.eastamb.nhs.uk/join-the-team/community-first-responders

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