A new Community First Responder (CFR) volunteers group has contacted us to explain what they do and why, and to invite support.
The local Mulbarton-based CFR works with, and is despatched by, the 999 ambulance service to provide immediate life saving support to patients in the event of a medical emergency. They provide support to all villages and parishes up to 15 minutes away, although there is no limit to who they serve dependant on availability of other CFR groups. CFR groups exist across the UK but this is a new group serving our district/parish. Previously the closest bases were in Aslacton and Poringland. They are a group of volunteers who provide this service in their free time, and receive no money for what they do.
http://www.respondersuk.org/norfolk/index.php will give more information about what they do, but in essence, if you call 999 suffering from life threatening signs/symptoms (Cardiac Arrest, Stroke, breathing difficulties, etc.) it is likely that they will be called to attend in addition to the ambulance. They use their own transport, at their expense. They have the training and the equipment to stabilise you with the use of a defibrillator, oxygen and other kit. We then provide a full handover to the ambulance crew if first on scene.
An ambulance may well be 15/20 minutes away when you call 999, which is why having a CFR, on-call nearby who can reach patients faster is essential. Those first few minutes could be the difference in saving a life.
This volunteer service crosses multiple parishes and districts (details below) and have recently recruited 8 new members from different villages from each district. The new volunteers are currently going through training and assessment, and if successful they will be available to go on call in a couple of months. Currently they have one emergency responder “kit”, which they need to share, passing it to whoever is on call at the time. This means that only one responder can be on call at a time.
Ideally with 10 volunteers they need 2 kits which could be in split locations allowing responders to reach patients faster. The total cost to provide a second kit is £3,500, but we are looking for a total sum of £5,000 to include some replacement items for our 1st kit as well.
As a new group Elizabeth Martin (Group Founder) and Graham Bunting had an initial aim to inform the people of your parishes/districts of who they are and how they help in urgent medical 999 cases. However with such great support from the general public already through social media, and now with additional volunteers, they need to switch their focus to funding for an additional ‘full kit’ allowing them to have multiple volunteers “on call” in our area, as well as raising further awareness in the parishes. Elizabeth and Graham are undertaking additional courses which will enable them to teach Basic Life Saving techniques in parishes as required.
They have a justgiving page www.justgiving.com/mulbartoncfr and a ring-fenced bank account where funds can be deposited purely for this CFR group.
They are happy to attend community meetings to explain the service they provide in our area, as well as talking about the additional volunteers coming on board. They will be at the Newton Flotman Fete on Sept 6th if you want to meet them and find out more about what they do.
To contact them:
In August they were “on call” for 120 hrs and were asked to attend to 3 incidents. Luckily, Mulbarton and surrounding villages seem to be very healthy at present.