During national volunteers week we caught up with Cathy Goldsmith one of our Community First Responders (CFRs) who dedicates her free time to helping her local community.
Cathy, 55, from Mereway works for the University of Northampton and volunteers for 20 hours a week by booking on duty as a CFR. Cathy is one of 1,800 CFRs who are trained by East Midlands Ambulance Service to respond to patients in their local community who are experiencing a life threatening emergency.
In a cardiac arrest seconds count. While EMAS always send the nearest available ambulance, volunteers are often able to arrive first, within minutes, and provide vital life saving support to improve the patient's chance of survival.
Cathy said: “There is no better feeling than turning up at a job and seeing the difference you make. Often patients are really scared and anxious and they feel relieved when we arrive and help them. I volunteer because I want to be there for my local community, I enjoy helping people and being a CFR gives me the training to make a real difference. Our mantra is local people saving local lives and that is so true, I volunteer for my community.”
This year Cathy has already volunteered for 440 hours responding to emergencies across South Northamptonshire-her record being 20 patients in one 14 hour shift.
Michael Barnett-Connolly, Head of Community Response at EMAS said: “Our team of responders are true assets to our organisation and I thank them for their continued support. Our volunteers across the East Midlands range from school teachers to factory workers who give up their free time for their communities. They really are local lifesavers.”
You can read more about being a volunteer.