Southampton East Community First Responders celebrate delivery of their new Dacia Duster

Jun 17, 2019 | News

Southampton East Community First Responders (CFRs) have been assisting South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) for many years. Responding to 999 calls in their area for anything from breathing difficulties, strokes and heart attacks to cardiac arrests our CFRs are on hand to get to the patient as quickly as possible.

L-to-R: Vanessa Casey, Paul Wilde, Stuart O’Connor – CFR Co-ordinator, Chris Dewey

At the end of last year, thanks to the huge support the scheme received from local residents, businesses and grant makers, Southampton East CFRs approached Picador, their local Dacia and Renault dealership to talk about purchasing a new vehicle. Group Marketing Manager, Paul Wilde and his team were on hand to advise and support the scheme. “We were delighted when the scheme approached us and happy to help them find the right vehicle at the right price. We quickly understood the value of having the right vehicle to support patients in the local community and decided we would to get involved and add our support to help make this happen”.

Deputy Scheme Coordinator, Christopher Dewey explains why having an official car makes such a difference: “with a fully marked up and kitted out car our volunteers are able to respond to more calls and can now carry lifting equipment used to help vulnerable and elderly patients who have fallen. Often patients are not injured but cannot get themselves off of the floor. This can mean waiting some time for an ambulance to come free and help them. Carrying this equipment means we can get to them quickly and ease their distress as soon as possible by safely lifting them off of the floor. At the same time it enables our frontline crews to continue to a more serious incident. Having this vehicle also means we can carry Entonox (pain relief gas) which can also ease pain and distress for a patient”.

Southampton East CFRs are all volunteers giving up their time to provide vital help and support for patients in their community. They are fully trained by SCAS and are required to give a minimum of 20 hours a month. CFRs also have to requalify every six months to ensure their skills and competencies are maintained.

CFRs are supported by South Central Ambulance Charity who raise funds to provide equipment, training and uniform for our volunteers. Charity CEO, Vanessa Casey said “Our volunteers do an incredible job supporting the ambulance service ensuring patients get help as soon as possible. Not only that but they also fundraise to support the Charity, build awareness of CPR and demonstrate life-saving skills in our communities. We are delighted to see the volunteers in Southampton receive their new vehicle and extremely grateful to Picador PLC and the local community for making this happen.”