YORKSHIRE’S ambulance service is looking for Whitby residents to join their life-saving volunteer Community First Responder scheme.
Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust has hundreds of potential lifesavers who are trained in basic life-support, Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and oxygen therapy, but more are needed.
Community defibrillation officer Neil Marsay said: “We know that in many medical emergencies the first few minutes are critical and if effective treatment can be performed within those minutes, lives can be saved and disability reduced.
“As volunteers are based within the community, they may only be a minute or two away from a medical emergency and very often their role is to simply provide vital reassurance to patients and their families until ambulance clinicians arrive. However, in extreme cases, such as a heart attack, they can perform CPR or use their defibrillator to restart someone’s heart which could save a life.”
Volunteers are equipped with a kit which includes oxygen and an automated external defibrillator (AED) to help patients in a medical emergency such as a heart attack, collapse or breathing difficulties until the ambulance arrives.
“Many people volunteer with us to gain experience or to help their local community and some people have had personal experience of a loved one needing prompt medical attention and can see the value in this role. Volunteers come from all walks of life, young and old, working or retired, including teachers and taxi drivers to shop keepers and even army sergeants!”
“Being part of this initiative can be extremely rewarding and I would encourage anyone who may be interested in helping their local community to take on the role.”
Full training is given to successful applicants who need to be over 18, physically fit and hold a full driving licence (having never been banned from driving or have more than three penalty points). Yorkshire Ambulance Service will also run Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks on candidates.
Anyone interested in finding out more about the Community First Responder Scheme can contact Neil Marsay at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust by calling 0845 120 3155 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org