As we approach the end of the year, we thought that you’d be interested to hear what’s been happening in our team in 2011.
2011 has been another tremendously successful year for us. We now have nine Community First Responders (CFRs) based in Alderminster, Ettington, Halford, Newbold-on-Stour, Pillerton Hersey and Pillerton Priors. All have been trained by West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) to provide emergency medical care. We also have three non-CFR team members in key roles of Secretary, Treasurer and WMAS Scheme Coordinator. These are fundamental roles in the running of the team.
We are tasked directly by WMAS to attend serious and/or life-threatening incidents to provide an early response in advance of the arrival of the paramedics. It’s important to emphasise that, although we are entitled Ettington CFR Scheme, we operate across the Stourdene villages including Alderminster, Ilmington, Newbold-on-Stour, the Pillertons, Halford and Tredington. When the ambulance service is stretched, we have also provided support in Shipston-on-Stour, Stratford-upon-Avon and Wellesbourne. At the time of writing (mid-Nov), we have been called to 163 incidents in response to 999 calls for which WMAS have requested our assistance. This compares to 106 for the entire year in 2010. Since the scheme was formed in June 2009, we have been called to over 300 incidents attending a wide-range of medical emergencies concerning patients from just a few months old to over-90.
The Scheme is entirely funded by donations and so fundraising is a constant requirement if we are to remain operational. Of course, this is all on top of our medical and administration roles. In addition to specific fundraising events, we have received donations from many organisations, businesses and individuals across the villages that we cover. We have been particularly touched by personal donations made by villagers; some of whom we have assisted during medical emergencies. We are very grateful to villagers who have organised fundraising events for us; especially Ann Harris, Rachel Currey, Steve Kendrick and Andrew Murray. In June, we held our second AGM. This was held in Newbold-on-Stour and we delivered a presentation in which we updated villagers on our activities, shared some statistics about our callouts and explained how we have spent – and intend to spend – our funds. Importantly, it was also an opportunity for villagers to ask any questions.
A major development this year is the addition of our Scheme Car (photo above). This follows a discussion with West Midlands Ambulance Service as to how we can provide an even more effective service. The car will be fully-marked and will be equipped with an integrated ambulance radio linked to the WMAS Emergency Operations Centre. You will see the car starting to appear round the team’s coverage area over the next few weeks. Of course, this places an additional financial burden on the team as the initial purchase and running costs are entirely met from the team’s funds. Due to the scale of our fundraising requirements, we are seeking a Fundraising Officer to join our team – please contact us if you are interested.
We would like to thank you for your tremendous support this year; your generosity has been outstanding. Please continue to support us in 2012. Finally, we’d like to wish you a very Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.