Every day, volunteer Community First Responders (CFRs) from across the South West attend emergencies within their local communities. Sometimes the difference is providing reassurance prior to the arrival of an ambulance; sometimes it is saving someone's life.
CFRs attend particular types of medical emergencies where it is essential for the patient to receive immediate life-saving care. This includes conditions such as:
- cardiac arrest;
- chest pain;
- breathing difficulties;
- unconscious patients;
The South Western Ambulance Service Trust (SWAST) provides an extensive kit bag containing everything required for basic life support in advance of an ambulance crew attending, including a defibrillator, oxygen and trauma kit. However, additional diagnostic equipment to take observations can also be purchased from the Trust using local fundraising. The equipment is then kept in the local kit bag for the benefit of the local community.
This crowdfunder appeal is to purchase equipment for use in the kit bag based in Probus, Cornwall, and will buy the following equipment:
Digital Pulse Oximeter for measuring heartbeat and oxygen saturation
Digital Thermometer for measuring body temperature
Glucometer for measuring blood sugar
Automatic Sphygmomanometer for measuring blood pressure
There will be positive benefits to the patient if the Community First Responder has immediate access to this additional kit, as they will have an early indication of some of the patient’s vital observations, and can make some basic diagnostic decisions. They can give more accurate information to the ambulance clinical control hub, which can help to ensure the right response in the timeliest manner. Once the ambulance crew arrives, the CFR can perform a faster handover to the Paramedic and provide a useful recent history of the patient’s condition. Saving time can save lives.
The Probus kit bag is based in the village for a rapid response, but CFRs will be allocated a patient by the control centre if the need is appropriate and they are the closest asset, so we often attend emergency calls as far as Trispen and St Erme, Tresillian, Ladock, Tregony, Grampound and Grampound Road, Sticker and St Stephen. In periods of high demand when there is a shortage of crews, a volunteer from Probus has attended emergencies in St Columb, St Austell and St Mawes.
This professional grade equipment will be approved and purchased through SWAST, who will then supply all the consumables (such as test strips, wipes and sharps bins) as part of the normal maintenance of the kit bag.
SWAST will be recruiting for new Community First Responders across Cornwall from 7th January 2019 until 4th February 2019 via the NHS Jobs website. Probus currently only has one volunteer (me!), so if you fancy a rewarding challenge please apply to join the local group to provide better coverage. Full training and support provided.
***** UPDATE 23/01/19 *****
Probus Parish Council have generously offered to support this fundraising with a £100 donation. Due to their financial restrictions they cannot pledge via Crowdfunder, so I have lowered the online target to £500.
***** UPDATE 23/01/19 *****
More information on CFRs can be found here: https://www.swast.nhs.uk/welcome/community-first-responders/community-first-responders-information