Cash boost for local group that helps save lives
The number of applications for people wanting to become volunteer lifesavers more than trebled this week, as the region’s ambulance trust staged Community First Responder week.
Lorna Hayes, of the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST), said the two days since responder ‘takeover’ week began on Monday saw 30 applications to become a community first responder – the maximum normally seen over the course of one week.
She said: “It just goes to show how big-hearted the people in the region are, which is really pleasing to see. This is such an important role, and also a really rewarding one – giving the life to your community.”
You may not know it, but community first responder groups operate in towns in the Diss Express area.
One such group exists in Eye. The town now has six fully-qualified first responders, and according to the group’s website, an additional three are completing their training and assessment programmes.
Community first responders are trained by EEAST to attend emergency calls in the area where they live, work or study.
They are sent by ambulance control to life-threatening emergencies - such as cardiac arrests - in their immediate vicinity.
A first responder’s role is to help stabilise the patient and, in doing so, attempt to keep them alive until the arrival of an ambulance crew.
Anyone aged 18 or over is eligible to undertake the role, so long as they have access to a car.
Charles Coulson is part of a fundraising group based in north Suffolk called the Thorndon Leek Club.
The group recently raised £1,000 for the community first responders group in Eye.
As for why the group chose to fundraise for the first responders, Mr Coulson said: “We have supported the first responders for several years now. It is such a worthy cause to have in the community.”
A spokesman for the Eye group said: “We are a group of volunteers who respond to emergency calls in the area where we live or work on behalf of EEAST. Our aim is to reach a potential life-threatening emergency in the first vital minutes before the ambulance crew arrive on scene.
“Our purpose is to try to make a difference in our community, helping to stabilise the collapsed patient and, in doing so, help to keep the patient alive until the arrival of the more highly-skilled ambulance crew, who are trained to undertake further life-saving techniques.”
The concept of community first responders originated in America through work undertaken by Richard Cummins.
He claimed that if a series of events took place in a set sequence, the patient suffering a cardiac arrest has a greater chance of survival.
These events are known as the ‘chain of survival’.
It was his belief that if the ambulance service sends a first responder trained in basic life support - such as operating a defibrillator or administering oxygen - to the collapsed patient within three to four minutes, the chances of survival increase by ten per cent for every minute the first responder is there prior to the arrival of the ambulance crew.
In rural areas, it is often impossible for an ambulance to reach an incident within the critical eight-minute window, and thus, this is why first responders are so vital in rural towns such as Diss and Eye.
Interested in becoming a first responder? The volunteer role - which is not for the faint-hearted - allows you to commit as much or as little time as you can. See www.eye.respondersuk.org/ for more.
- BREAKING: Young motorcyclist from Eye who died in Fressingfield road crash yesterday is named
- Man, 25, from Eye dies after motorcycle collision in north Suffolk
- Man assaulted in hotel car park in Diss
- Is something sinister behind the missing Diss Mere Street chickens?
- Laptop and bank documents stolen during Diss burglary
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Diss
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North west