Volunteers Week gives us the opportunity to say thank you and celebrate the amazing people that give up their time free of charge to help us and to help people in their local community.
Our volunteer car drivers enable patients across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey and Sussex to get to and from planned hospital and other medical appointments. The non-emergency patient transport service we provide in those six counties carried out nearly 1 million patient journeys in 2018/19 and our volunteer car drivers delivered 8% of those trips.
Our volunteer community first responders (CFRs), along with our co-responders from the military, police and fire and rescue services, responded to 28,666 emergency 999 incidents for SCAS in 2018/19. These volunteers usually respond within three miles of their home or work base and can help patients suffering a life-threatening emergency such as a cardiac arrest, heart attack, breathing difficulties or stroke, by starting life-saving treatment often within a few minutes before our first ambulance response arrives on scene.
Find our more about just a few of our amazing volunteers below.
As a volunteer, my working day usually starts the night before. My work for the following day arrives on my home computer about 5:30pm; I can then go on to Google Maps and plan my route. My first job could be anywhere going to anywhere, so knowing what time the first patient has to be at the hospital and where he/she lives is essential, as I need to know what time I have to leave home, and how long it could take to get there, taking rush hour traffic into consideration, road works, etc. When I get home, I take my mileage reading and record it on my monthly claims form along with any expenses I have accrued. Put the kettle on or pour myself a nice glass of wine, knowing that I have helped in a small way some very unfortunate people who need medical assistance. For more details on a typical day for Tony as a volunteer car driver for our non-emergency patient transport service, click here.
Tim Rogers (left) and Robin Mugridge (right), Scheme Co-ordinator, both volunteer as part of our High Wycombe CFR Scheme. Tim and Robin say they choose to do so:
- To give something back to the NHS
- To support the fantastic work done by SCAS
- To help those in need in our local community
Find out more about our Community First Responder Scheme in High Wycombe here, or follow them on Twitter – @HighWycombeCFR
Alan Ducklin and Michael Drewett are two of our amazing team of volunteer car drivers in Sussex, helping local people get to hospital outpatient appointments and to other medical centres for regular treatment.
Thank you both for being part of our team and a great asset to SCAS and the Sussex community.
If you are aged over 18, have a valid UK driving licence (max 3 pts) and own a modern, reliable four-door car and have some spare time during the week, we’d love to hear from you. Find out more about joining our friendly team of volunteer car drivers at www.scas.nhs.uk/volunteer-car-driver
Below are some more of the reasons why we, and the communities we look after, are so lucky to have such an amazing team of volunteers.
Did you know that last year volunteers trained over 2,000 members of their communities in AED (automated external defibrillator) awareness.
Our CFRs and South Central Ambulance Charity are fortunate enough to have some amazing support from individuals, organisations and businesses in our region that allow us to do more for the people we serve.
Our community first responders undertake training and assessments of their clinical skills every six months in order to ensure that they can still operate to high standards whatever the emergency they are sent to and start providing life-saving care if needed.
Did you know that our CFRs gave up just under 271,000 hours in order to be on call in the local communities for us in 2018/19? That’s a total of 11,292 days of on call cover by all our amazing volunteers!
CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is a lifesaving skill that anyone can, and should, learn – however young and old. For every minute that passes without CPR or defibrillation on a person in cardiac arrest, their chances of survival reduce by 10%. CFR Les Owen has developed a fantastic partnership with Beaconsfield High School that has seen him train over 500 students in this lifesaving technique.
Our community first responders and co-responders from military, police and fire and rescue services, play a vital role every year in SCAS’ support behind International Restart a Heart Day, held annually in October.
It was certainly a busy night for some of our volunteer community first responders (CFRs) on 25 March; they had to cope with a difficult bath extraction, a collapsed patient in a nightclub and experienced what it is like to have visual, hearing and mobility impairments. Fortunately, it was all in the name of training!