What is the Leicester University Community First Responder Scheme (#LUCFR)?
#LUCFR is a brand-new volunteer scheme within the Leicester city area, which has been started to reduce the time taken for life-saving treatment to be initiated for local people suffering from medical emergencies such as cardiac arrests, convulsions and unconsciousness. The 32 volunteers of the scheme are all students of the University of Leicester and De Montfort University, who are trained to respond to 999 calls on behalf of East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust.
What is a Community First Responder (CFR)?
A community first responder is a volunteer who gives up their spare time to respond to 999 calls for the ambulance service, in addition to a traditional ambulance being dispatched. As community first responders are ordinary people within the local community, they are often much closer to incidents when the initial 999 calls are made, therefore reducing the time taken for life-saving treatment to begin.
What are we fundraising for?
As a new scheme, we have a number of purchases that we need to make in order to allow our scheme to become fully operational. We have been fortunate enough to have secured support for our largest commitment, a scheme lease car. The scheme car is vital for students to be get around the city to reach the patients in greatest need, whilst supporting us to overcome the many parking restrictions around residential areas. Aside from the lease car the scheme requires a number of other vital items to ensure it can operate to its full potential over the coming years. Such items include:
Response Kit x2 (approx. £2,400 each) = £4,800
Each response kit will include the bag, oxygen cylinder, automated external defibrillator, suction unit and a range of other consumables.
Uniform Polo Shirt x32 (approx. £20 each) = £640
The polo shits will be short sleeve to comply with infection control requirements, but also ensure that should they become contaminated with bodily fluids they can be replaced if necessary. The embroidery on the polo shirts will ensure that they can be quickly identified by members of the public when they are attending to incidents, as well as displaying their name to strengthen patient interactions
Uniform Soft-Shell Jackets x6 (approx. £40 each) = £240
As you can appreciate with the recent spell of ice cold weather in the UK it is important that we can keep our responders warm, as they may be responding to patients outside. The soft shell jackets will also be embroidered with the scheme logo and community first responder to ensure they can be easily identified. As these are not cheap individual items, we are proposing to have a range of sizes that can be shared amongst those students on duty at one time (2 x small, 2 x medium, 2 x large).
High-Visibility Coats x6 (approx. £70 each) = £420
To ensure the safety of our students when out and about, we require high visibility jackets to ensure they can be easily seen during the night. As these are not cheap individual items, we are proposing to have a range of sizes that can be shared amongst those on duty at one time (2 x small, 2 x medium, 2 x large).
CPR Training Mannequin = approx. £1700
Our scheme hopes to get out and about in the community to deliver resuscitation awareness sessions, to enable everyone the opportunity to learn how to perform high quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Members of the public are often scared to perform CPR out of fear of causing more harm, however this training device will allow the community to practice the skills required to perform CPR, as well as providing real time feedback about the quality of their efforts. Delivering high quality CPR is essential to providing the best possible outcomes for patients.
What do we hope to give back to the community?
As well as responding to emergency 999 calls on behalf of EMAS, we also hope to be able to host community engagement events with members of the local community, to help train them in life-saving skills such basic life support. We hope to encourage participation from people of all ages, to ensure that as many people within our community are able to help one another during their greatest times of need.
What will you get from supporting our local charity?
We understand that our financial target is a substantial amount of money, however the scheme has one primary focus and that is, supporting our community. Not only will the scheme help people during their greatest time of need; as this also a student led initiative it will also help build confidence and leadership skills for our students throughout their studies, that will be vital in their future careers following graduation. By supporting our cause you should take great pride in the fact that you truly are helping to change the lives of so many people, from all walks of life.
Stephanie Rees (fourth year medical student):
"The few minutes before an ambulance arrives can be vital for survival. As a Community first Responder not only may you be the first person on scene, but you need to provide reassurance to the patient and family too, during the most difficult time in someone's life. As most of us are medical students, we have prior training that we can use, but also the exposure and experience gained is invaluable; assessing a patient quickly, thinking on your feet, and taking a concise history. It's a fantastic scheme, and at a time where the health service is under great pressure, we will surely be used!"
Adam Baker (first year pharmacy student):
"Due to the extensive pressures on the NHS and ambulance service in general, there are high levels of demand for ambulances and medically trained staff to attend incidents, especially in the Leicester city area due to the large population size. For me, anything that I can do to help ease this pressure and be there for patients is of great benefit; even if it just means that I've helped save one person's life. Being a community first responder facilitates this. We are given training by East Midlands Ambulance Service in addition to knowledge from our medical related degrees to be first on scene at incidents to provide the initial life-saving treatment that patients so desperately need, however being independently financed, we need all the support from the public that we can get to make sure we can continue to provide this life-saving service."