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SCAS hosts first CFR Conference – Volunteers Week 2019

On 14 April 2018, the Community Engagement and Training Team hosted the inaugural Community First Responder (CFR) Conference in Thatcham, Berkshire. This was the first time that CFRs from across the South Central region had been given the chance to meet, collaborate and share best practice.

Just under 200 of our dedicated CFRs, along with co-responders from our partners in the Fire & Rescue and Police forces, and Armed Forces, attended the conference which was a day of learning and activities themed around ‘improving outcomes and sharing best practice’.

We were lucky enough to have a host of extremely eminent speakers covering a range of topics, which included the importance of quality resuscitation, sepsis and NEWS 2, dealing with distressing incidents, and resuscitation to recovery – a national framework to improve care of people with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in England.

As we arrived early at the venue on a dank April morning, it was hard to imagine at that time, the hive of activity that Thatcham Football Club would later become.

The car park started to fill, people started to arrive and right on cue the sun started to break through. It was certainly a sight to see all of the vehicles lined up outside of the venue – most of which belonged to CFR schemes from across the Trust and have been purchased by the schemes through funds raised by the. I’m sure I speak for all the organisers who, like me, on seeing such a collection feel very proud.


There was certainly a buzz in the air from the outset and even in the “coffee/networking” hour before the day started you could see and hear responders from across the whole Trust starting to share ideas, find out about good practice – and eat the pastries laid on!

The day was opened by Chief Executive, Will Hancock, and the speakers generated plenty of discussion throughout the day. The lunchbreak was enjoyed by many outside in the Berkshire sunshine; what is it they say about the sun always shining on the righteous?

One of the important themes of the day was quality resuscitation and our responders had the opportunity to practice and demonstrate quality resuscitation on our new Laerdal QCPR manikins. Those undertaking a two minute assessment and scoring 95% or above were in with a chance of winning a QCPR manikin for their CFR scheme, which was kindly donated by the SCAS Charity.


Throughout the day, responders were encouraged to share their ideas and innovations using “post its” on our innovation wall. We have had some excellent ideas generated and discussions are already taking place in the Community and Engagement Team about how we can develop these further. The feedback has shown that the day was a resounding success and there is clearly an appetite for a bigger event next year. We’ve noted those areas of the event that people want us to improve on and we will take these on board to help make the next event even better!

Thank you once again to everyone who came along and I hope you found it as enjoyable and beneficial as I did.

Jack Ansell, Operations Manager South – Community Engagement & Training