Lifesaving EMAS scheme gets four new recruits

Lifesaving scheme in the community welcomes four new recruits

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The new recruits who have joined the Community First Responders team

Four members of our EMAS team will now help save lives in their spare time as part of our Community First Responders volunteering scheme.

Senior communications officer Emily Dunn,care assistant Kim Godman, Gemma Shankland, an emergency medical dispatcher and Helen Wright a call handler for the Patient Transport Services, are the latest staff from within the service to sign up to be trained as Community First Responders (CFR) and will now join the dedicated team.

CFRs are trained by EMAS to respond voluntarily to medical emergencies which they can get to faster than an ambulance crew or fast response vehicle. The CFR will then provide treatment for the patient until the paramedics arrive.

James Hornby, the community response manager for CFR said he was delighted that the four women had decided to generously volunteer their time to such a vital service.

He said: "The work CFRs do is vital. When someone goes into cardiac arrest, the first few minutes are vital. For every minute that passes where someone is not doing CPR, the person's chance of survival decreases by 10 per cent, so after 10 minutes there is a slim chance that we will get them back.

"If a CFR can be there to perform CPR and use a defibrillator to bring them back or to stop them going downhill then it could save someone's life.

"Congratulations to these four new CFRs for volunteering their time."

CFRs respond to emergencies in their own cars and travel at normal road speed.

They each fundraise for a medical kit for their community which includes a defibrillator, masks and an oxygen tank, and EMAS will provide all dressings and bandages.

The community first responder logs onto the system when they want to be on call, and then they are allocated patients via mobile phone.

They can then be sent out to a variety of emergencies including cardiac arrests, breathing problems, strokes and people who are unconscious or having a fit.

Anyone over the age of 18 and who holds a full driving licence with no more than 6 penalty points can volunteer to be a CFR. Volunteers will also undergo a police record check.

Anyone who would like to volunteer can do so by emailing then community response team at

community.responder@emas.nhs.uk