FURTHER UPDATE ON SETTING UP A COMMUNITY FIRST

RESPONDERS SCHEME FOR WINTERSLOW

We now have 9 people who are interested in becoming First Responders in the Winterslow area but we need more. The greater the number who are trained, the easier it will be to provide cover.

COULD YOU HELP TO SAVE A LIFE?

You do not require any previous medical training and will be eligible if you either live OR work within a three mile radius of the village and have your own transport. You will not be asked to commit to any particular hours or days of the week at this stage. Once we have all been trained we will draw up a rota every couple of weeks and you will be able to say exactly what hours you are available in the following two weeks - as few or as many as you wish. It may well be that we cannot provide 24 hour cover every day but, with an average of nearly one call a week to our area, we will do the best we can and if we save one life it will be worthwhile.

As you know Community First Responders (CFRs) are volunteers who respond from their home addresses or work places to patients with life threatening medical emergencies. Here's what one volunteer has to say about the service.

"I hesitated about joining First responders as I had no first aid experience and feared the ‘blood and guts' element. I was eventually persuaded by being told that the equipment tells you what to do - which indeed it does in the case of cardiac arrest.

In the past 6 years I have attended over 30 incidents and find people very appreciative of the service. Just the arrival of somebody in an official looking fluorescent jacket seems to calm the situation and whoever is with the patient has the comfort of no longer carrying the responsibility alone. We administer oxygen on many of our callouts; to people who are struggling to breathe, or have heart problems. This is easily our most valuable intervention and our aim is simply to buy time for that person until the ambulance arrives.

At Lockerley we choose to meet once a fortnight to compile a duty roster on a purely voluntary basis. We generally have people on at night, always in pairs, but cannot always fully cover the daylight hours. We are averaging 2 calls per month, so there is a need!"

Derek Needham, Lockerley First Responders

Winterslow Parish Council is supporting the set-up cost for one defibrillator of approx. £1,500 in conjunction with fund-raising. I am pleased to say we have now received several donations and even if you do not feel able to volunteer but would still like to support the project, you can do so by sending a cheque made out to Winterslow Parish Council, and clearly stating that it is for the CFR scheme, to David Newton, Jubilee Cottage, Witt Road, Winterslow, Wilts, SP5 1PL. Once we have purchased the defibrillator, Great Western Ambulance Service (GWAS) provides the training and other equipment including a mobile phone/pager, consumables and oxygen free of charge.

If we work together we can save lives. For further details, or just to have a chat about the project, please me contact on 01980 862249.

David Newton, Parish Councillor