We are a group of highly trained volunteers who work closely with West Midlands Ambulance Service to answer 999 emergency calls in the North Warwickshire area from Seckington and Austrey in the north, to Corley-Moor in the south, as well as Nuneaton, Bedworth and Coleshill.
Over the last decade or so, ambulance services across the country have been introducing Community First Responder schemes into their areas. As well as providing prompt care to all categories of patients in their local areas, these volunteers are also trained and equipped to deal with the most deadly of calls – Cardiac Arrest. This is where the electricity in the heart stops working properly and is responsible for one-hundred-thousand deaths per year in the UK alone. Statistically, for each minute that the use of an Automated External Defibrillator is delayed in a patient suffering from Cardiac Arrest their chances of survival are reduced by up to 10%.
Community First Responder schemes are implemented to be able to provide immediate emergency care. The volunteers usually respond from their own homes into their local areas at the same time as a paramedic is dispatched. They often arrive on scene before the paramedic as they often know the areas better. The first few minutes at any emergency are crucial in giving the patients the best chance of survival and recovery.
Whenever a CFR is asked to attend an emergency call, there will always be a full time West Midlands Ambulance resource sent at the same time. However, if that ambulance is travelling from some distance away CFR is likely to arrive with the patient sooner & be able to provide medical care & basic life support more quickly. In situations such as Cardiac Arrests, Heart Attacks, Strokes or Trauma, every minute counts if the patient is to have a chance of survival & recovery.
CFR's are primarily called to attend ’Category 1 or 2’ emergency calls. These are 999 calls which the Ambulance Service deems to be ’Serious & life threatening’ & therefore by their nature need medical help to arrive as quickly as possible.
Category 1 & 2 calls can happen at home, work or in public places and are usually where the patient is suffering from some of the following illnesses or symptoms:
Unconscious and collapsed patients
Fitting or convulsions
Trauma and Injury