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5th Jul, 2022

Still time to apply to become a Community First Responder

Ross Crawford 21st Apr, 2022

AMBULANCE emergency response charity, FastAid, together with West Midlands Ambulance, is looking for more volunteers to train and become Community First Responders (CFRs).

CFRs are despatched to life threatening 999 emergency calls by West Midlands Ambulance Service when they are the closest resource. Because they respond in their local community, CFRs are usually first to reach emergency scenes, are able to start lifesaving treatment, begin clinical care and provide reassurance to patient and relatives before an ambulance arrives.

In life-threatening emergencies, the time saved can be critical. Amongst FastAid members are a doctor, nurses, paramedics as well as highly trained volunteers from all backgrounds and ages. In a typical year, FastAid CFRs respond to around 1,800 emergency calls.

Terry Flower, FastAid Project Lead, said: “Last year we recruited 18 new volunteers to FastAid and we could do that again.

“It’s made a huge difference in our ability to support more patients and keep our five scheme cars crewed for longer hours.

“Responders are trained by West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust to a nationally recognised qualification ‘First Responder On Scene’.

“Once qualified, they will be mentored by experienced CFRs as they start answering 999 emergency calls.

“The role is highly rewarding, offers opportunities to meet new people and learn valuable lifesaving skills.”

Karen Ingram, one of the first to qualify in 2021, said: “I saw the advert in February, applied, attended a virtual interview in March and by the end of June I had completed my formal training and began responding with existing CFRs until I was ready to ‘go solo’.

“It’s been such a fulfilling experience. Although my part in the patient experience may be small, it’s often at the beginning of the journey and a real privilege when we, as Community First Responders, can make a difference.”

Applicants must be 18 or over, have a good all-round education, a good level of fitness and a full UK driving license held for at least one year. Also required are good communication skills and a willingness to learn and to help others.

Closing date for return of completed applications is May 4.

Members should be available to respond to emergency calls for at least 20 hours per month and to help to keep the charity running. Once qualified, FastAid will provide CFRs access to a scheme car, fully kitted with lifesaving equipment.

To apply, visit: www.jobs.nhs.uk/xi/vacancy/917136795

For more on Fast Aid visit: www.fastaid.org.uk

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