Community and Co-Responders

Be a real lifesaver for your community

Whilst I am not an employee of South Central Ambulance Service, I am a valuable member of the team and make a life-saving contribution to patients in my community who dial 999. I’m just one of the over 1,200 Community and Co-Responders who support SCAS. Our numbers are made up of members of the public, fire service, police community support officers, coastguards and military responders. We are all volunteers and undertake training to be able to help the people in our community with the support of SCAS.

SCAS is always on the lookout for more community and co-responders across the four counties in the South Central region. So if you are physically fit, have access to a vehicle and want to make a life-saving difference to your community, why not think about becoming one too? You’ll need to be able to give a minimum commitment of 20 on call hours a month and all training and support will be provided.

CFR responses in 2015/16

CFRs working with SCAS

If you want to be able to help us in emergency situations, then become a Volunteer Community First Responder. You will be trained by SCAS to be able calmly and professionally to deal with medical emergencies, providing sometimes life-saving first aid to a patient in the crucial minutes before an ambulance arrives. Once the ambulance arrives, you will continue to support the SCAS staff treating the patient.

After attending an initial five-day training course (spread over several weekends and weekday evenings) and an annual 1 day refresher course, the commitment we ask of you is to make yourself available at least 20 hours each month. You can choose the times to fit around your other commitments and you ‘respond’ from home or perhaps your workplace.

We will provide you with all the training, equipment and support you need to do something amazing for your community: become a real lifesaver.

The CFR role

We have Community First Responder (CFR) Schemes across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire, in both urban and rural areas. Our CFRs are trained to deliver life-saving skills such as the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED), basic airway management and oxygen therapy, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR – and we always need new recruits.

Because CFRs only respond to emergencies in the area where they live or work, they can arrive at the scene shortly before an ambulance gets there. By being able to start life-saving medical treatment earlier, CFRs really do help save more lives.

The types of emergencies you might attend

You will only be sent to 999 emergency calls we receive during the hours you have agreed to provide emergency cover, if you have had the relevant training and if the incident is local to you (usually within three to five miles). You will be trained to help in cases of:

  • Cardiac arrest
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Choking
  • Diabetic emergencies
  • Serious injuries (though not road traffic collisions)
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Patients suffering a seizure
  • Chest pains
  • Unconscious patients

Want to know more?

Call us on 0800 587 0207 or email cfr@scas.nhs.uk

Want to help in other ways?

We can only provide this vital local lifesaving service through our charity, as the CFR scheme is 100% funded by public donation. We understand that not everyone wants to take on the role of community first responder, but there are other ways you can help. A great way to show your appreciation for the community first responders in your area would be to help raise funds for them.

Each scheme costs about £3000 to set up, and we need to raise the money for new schemes, but also fund the ongoing work of these vital volunteers. All the equipment used by local CFRs is paid for through voluntary contributions:

£ 18                 pays for a replacement set of defibrillator pads

£156                pays for a defibrillator battery

£180                pays for the annual rental charges on a CFR emergency pager

£1000              pays for a new automated external defibrillator

£2000              pays for a new, full first responder medical kit

Your local group would be very grateful of any support you can give them to help raise funds that they can put to good use in your local community. To find out more please contact our charity by emailing the Charity CEO at Rachel.coney@scas.nhs.uk

Do you work in the military or for another 999 service?

SCAS works in partnership with other emergency services and the military to provide Co-Responders who volunteer and undertake training to be able to support people in their community. Our military co-responders in particular spend significant time, voluntarily raising funds to provide vehicles and equipment that can be used within their local communities. We have Co Responding schemes in all four counties of SCAS and continue to work with our partners to enhance the models of care to our patients. To find out more about Co-Responding contact 0800 587 0207

Public Access Defibrillators

Sudden cardiac arrest remains the UK’s single biggest killer, Public Access Defibrillators (PADs) are lifesaving machines and very easy to use.

SCAS has worked with many parish councils and community groups who wish to install a PAD in their neighbourhoods. We can help with giving advice about possible locations for a PAD site through to giving training using training defibrillators and helping your local community raise the funds for a PAD.

If you:

  • Want a defibrillator in your community contact 0800 587 0207
  • Want some training for your local community on how to use a defibrillator contact 0800 587 0207
  • Want to help our charity raise funds to buy defibrillators, or to make a defib donation, then contact Rachel.coney@scas.nhs.uk
  • Want to know where your nearest defibrillator is then download our ‘Save a life’ locator app
Something I love doing! Could you become a Community Responder? Why don't you apply!

@andyhaydon

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