It seems a long time ago since we were writing the first piece for Ettington Village News announcing the formation of the Community First Responder Scheme in Ettington. In fact, it was only 7 months ago and a lot has happened since then. We thought that you’d be interested in hearing how things are going.
Community First Responder schemes are teams of volunteers who are trained by the ambulance service to a nationally-recognised level (BTEC) to provide life-saving treatment to patients in their communities. In many illnesses or injuries that result in a 999 call, the first few minutes are critical and interventions can be performed by qualified Community First Responders (CFRs) in order to save lives or prevent disability. Team members are all volunteers who give their time to attend callouts, train, fundraise and manage the (considerable) team administration at no charge. It’s important to note that you do not need to call us directly. We are called out, 24/7, by the ambulance service Emergency Operations Centre in response to a 999 call in our area of service (3-mile radius of Ettington). In response to a 999 call, an ambulance crew will always be despatched; our role is to bridge the gap between the 999 call and the arrival of the ambulance.
So, what’s been happening since June? Following the successful completion of their training and assessments, our first two First Responders went live on 1st June. We received four callouts within 18 days of launching. Thankfully, it’s not been quite as busy since then! We are averaging around two callouts per month. Due to the small number of CFRs – there are four CFRs in the team – we are unable to get to all the callouts that we receive but we attend as many as we can; day or night. As well as our CFRs, the team consists of others who carry out vital roles to keep the team functioning; treasurer, secretary and fundraisers.
Whilst the ambulance service trains the team and replaces consumable items, it does not fund our equipment such as defibrillators, pulse oximeters, suction pumps, emergency service jackets and equipment bags. For items such as these, funding has to come from the community and it costs about £1,300 for each set of equipment. Since June alone, we’ve raised £1,300. Our funding has come from a variety of sources including;
Donation from Ettington Parish Council, donation from Pillerton Priors Parish Council, donation from Wellesbourne Lions, donation from Pure Recycling, Spanish Fiesta at The Chequers, Steve Kendrick’s Live Band Gig, individual donations by villagers and Ettington CFR Collection boxes. The full list – including those who’ve supported us with raffle prizes – is on our website (please see the page entitled ‘Our Supporters’).
You can find out more about the Scheme on our website: http://www.ettingtoncfr.org.uk including how you can make donations directly to the Scheme. We’re always looking for further volunteers to join us as CFRs or purely as fundraisers. In both cases, you can find out what’s involved via the website and you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We want to thank you for your tremendous support. The Scheme, quite literally, couldn’t operate without you. Your generosity has been outstanding. Please continue to support us.
Finally, we’d like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.