Community First Responders
Volunteer today and help your community
In 2000 Dr Mackenzie undertook a review of the services Magpas provided. Following this review one of his proposals were that specially trained lay responders within communities could provide life saving aid in medical emergencies. These responders having only short distances to travel could provide early assistance to patients with time critical medical problems, such as difficulty breathing, chest pain and cardiac arrest.
Community First Responders on the scene
Following discussion and the support of the East of England Ambulance Service Community First responder groups were formed.
First responder volunteers receive specialist training (see CFR current groups)
They are required to have pass an enhanced CRB check undertaken by the ambulance service.
They are required to complete an occupational health questionnaire and be basically healthy and under 70 years old at the time of application.
They are require to have access to a motor vehicle when available for duty, that is road worthy and taxed and insured and have a full driving licence.
First responders can volunteer for a few hours here and there or on a regular basis. When on call they will have the responder bags that include the defibrillator as shown in the picture above and oxygen.
When the ambulance service receive a 999 call that is classed as a medical emergency and is for a person over the age of 8 in the town or village of the responder, the responder will receive a text and often a direct phone call from the ambulance service to activate. The responder then goes under normal road conditions to the address provided and provides help until an ambulance or Paramedic arrives, they then provide a brief but informative handover, often staying to provide extra help.
Medical emergencies that first responders attend include: Cardiac arrest, difficulty breathing, and shortness of breath, unconsciousness, changing levels of consciousness, Diabetes, acute allergies and fitting.
CFRS WhittleseySince the first groups were established, thousands of hours have been volunteered every year and each year patients in cardiac arrest have been saved by early defibrillation by first responders as well as other life saving actions. There are now 41 responder groups in Cambridgeshire.
Since the year 2000 other counties within East Anglia have developed their own first responder groups under the EEAST umbrella, mirroring training and call criteria as a result on 1st October 2010, the first responder groups within Magpas were ceded to The EEAST and the groups were unified under the one umbrella.