Volunteers in Sledmere went “live” on Saturday as part of the Community First Responder scheme.
Working with Yorkshire Ambulance Service, these volunteers are giving up their own time to provide immediate life-saving care to members of their local communities in an emergency medical situations, tackling illnesses such as heart attacks, breathing difficulties or a collapse.
Their work is vital in the minutes before an ambulance arrives.
Volunteers are trained in Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and the use of an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) which delivers a controlled electric shock to restart the heart.
Some Community First Responders also carry portable oxygen.
Thanks to the hard work of Craig Scurry bringing this idea to the attention of his community, and the fundraising efforts of Nicholas Swinton, and representatives of the Sledmere Parish Council and the Sledmere Estate, this scheme is initially funded by the community.
However ongoing replenishment and training support will be delivered by Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
Patricia Kilner, Community Defibrillation Trainer for YAS, said: “Community First Responders make a valuable contribution to their communities. We know that in many medical emergencies the first few minutes are critical. If effective treatment can be performed within those first minutes, lives can be saved and disability reduced. Being a Community First Responder can be extremely rewarding and I would encourage anyone who may be interested in taking on the role to contact us”.
“Many people volunteer to gain experience, to help their local communities and some people have had personal experience of a loved one needing prompt medical attention and can see the value in this initiative. Volunteers come from all walks of life, young and older, working or retired, from teachers and drivers to shop keepers and army sergeants!”
Full training will be given to successful applicants who need to be over 18, physically fit and hold a full driving licence with no more than six penalty points. YAS will also run Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and occupational health checks on candidates.
Anyone requiring further details please contact Patricia Kilner, Community Defibrillation Trainer on 07789 271071 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We are looking for further volunteers in Sledmere, Driffield, Hutton Cranswick, Beeford and Beverley.
More than 260,000 people suffer a heart attack in the UK each year, about a third of whom die before reaching hospital due to cardiac arrest. A cardiac arrest most often occurs as a result of a heart attack, when the heart is starved of oxygen. Cardiac arrests cause the heart either to quiver, known as fibrillation, or stop beating altogether. The defibrillators carried by Community First Responders work by delivering a controlled electric shock through the chest wall to the heart to restore a normal heartbeat after a cardiac arrest. The faster this treatment is delivered, the better the outcome for the patient.
Community First Responders can also administer oxygen and are trained in basic life support skills, which could be invaluable in the minutes before the ambulance arrives. All Responders carry YAS ID cards and may attend patients with chest pain or difficulty breathing and patients who are unconscious or who have collapsed.
When an emergency call is received at the A&E communication centre, an ambulance or Rapid Response Vehicle is dispatched as soon as possible. At the same time a Community First Responder, on-call in the area, can be alerted with the relevant details and asked to assist at the 999 incident.