Community First Responders: we are local people happy to be trained by the Ambulance Service and offer our time (and petrol) to help our neighbours in urgent medical situations. There are two Community First Responder groups locally, Lingwood & Strumpshaw and Brundall & Blofield. The number of people willing to undertake this voluntary role have increased during 2016 and 5 of our 17 responders were trained and assessed by the Ambulance Service last year. 2,095 hours were offered by our volunteers over the year, and at the request of the Ambulance Service, 103 visits to patients were undertaken. The defibrillators placed in our local villages are also regularly checked by the teams, to ensure they are always ready for use, should that be necessary.
The equipment carried by the volunteers has been paid for by contributions from local people and businesses. The cost of purchasing a defibrillator, a pulse-oximeter for measuring the percentage of oxygen in the blood, suction equipment and the various bandages etc. carried by each Responder is considerable, and financial donations will always be welcome!
Please see the website for further details:
Community First Responders are a good support to the Ambulance Service, as so much of Norfolk is rural, and it can take an ambulance some time to get to some of the more remote areas. Local knowledge and quick access can be vital if someone has a life threatening emergency and new Responders will always be welcomed.
Do remember that trying to find an address can be difficult especially on roads where the houses are not numbered. It is vital that house names and/or numbers are easy to see from the road, ideally on reflective boards – and not hidden low down and possibly covered by foliage. Perhaps you could make it a New Year Resolution to ensure that your house number or name is easy to spot from the road, and if you are expecting an ambulance, especially when it is dark, please have lights on and ideally someone watching out, ready to flag the ambulance down. Sometimes minutes can be vital!
Please contact the local co-ordinator Christine for further information: (01603) 713583