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Yorkshire Ambulance Service needs Community First Responders

Monday, 2 May 2016

From Jamie Harrop

Community First RespondersYou see a person collapse in the street and stop breathing… they're technically dead. What do you do? Are you the type to walk away, or the type who wants to help? If you're the latter, I need your help.

I haven't collapsed, and I haven't stopped breathing, but my next patient might have. I need volunteers to join me as Community First Responders for Yorkshire Ambulance Service, in both the Hebden Bridge and Halifax/ North Halifax areas.

Full training is provided, and before long you could be getting a phone call from the ambulance control room, running to your car, and taking control, first on scene, at a cardiac arrest or many other serious emergencies, being the first vital resource until an ambulance arrives on scene. I need you now. And so does your next patient.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) NHS Trust is looking for volunteers to join their Community First Responder (CFR) schemes in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield.

CFRs are volunteers who provide immediate life-saving care to members of their local communities in an emergency medical situation, such as heart attack, breathing difficulties or a collapse, in the vital minutes before the ambulance arrives.

Community First RespondersThey 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. Community First Responders also carry portable oxygen.

Laura Williams, Community Defibrillation Trainer for YAS in West Yorkshire, 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.

"Volunteers come from all walks of life. Many volunteer as a Community First Responder 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. Being a Community First Responder can be extremely rewarding and I would encourage anyone who may be interested in taking on the role to get in touch."

Full training is given to successful applicants who need to be over 18 years old, physically fit and hold a full driving licence having never been banned from driving with no more than three penalty points. Yorkshire Ambulance Service will also run Disclosure and Barring (DBS) checks on candidates.

Anyone interested can find out more at at this web page or by emailing: responders@yas.nhs.uk or phone: 0333 1300516.