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Meet our Community First Responders

Date: 07 June 2022

 

To celebrate this years Volunteers’ Week, three of EEAST’s Community First Responders (CFR’s) talk about what being a CFR means to them. 

 

Alan Cartz

I was invited to a Royal Garden Party by the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire for my voluntary service to the county through my work with St John Ambulance and East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust. It is such an honour to be recognised for things I do without any expectation of reward or praise, I just like being there for people who need our services at point of crisis in their lives. 

 

Kevin Power

 

Kevin Power, recently completed the Jurassic Coast challenge to raise money for his CFR group. 

He is now up to £1020 in donations. Kevin says ‘I volunteer for 3 reasons; to help take the pressure off the existing resource of emergency care so that what central resource we have can be sent to the most urgent cases, I get great fulfilment from giving back to the community and being there for patients in a timely manner thus relieving anxiety and worry at a time of need, and finally, I really enjoy it!’ 

 

Leigh Caudwell

After I retired from a home office police force, I spent some time working with the Ministry of Defence Police in Essex where I first met some Community First Responders. I saw then how valuable having somebody in the local community, trained to attend various types of medical emergencies, was.  

When I ‘retired’ for the second time in 2014 I made contact with EEAST and began the process to become a CFR here in North Norfolk. Once fully qualified I joined the Mundesley first responder group and have continued to respond for and with them since. 

In 2015 I volunteered to assist with the training of new responders, and did so for two reasons; one was to help the new responders become qualified and secondly to make sure that my own skills were fully up to date.  

I respond when I am able, being retired that is quite a lot of the time. The number of calls I attend has grown quite substantially over the last few years, possibly because I am booking on more now than a few years ago.  

In 2015 I attended 80 patients (1700 hours booked on), in 2021 I attended 552 (4600 hours booked on), 26 of those calls were cardiac arrests where I was first on scene most of the time. Of those 26 there are some people now who are still alive who certainly may not have been had a first CFR with equipment and training not been on scene quickly.  

I’ve attended a total of 1650 patients over these last few years (22,000 hours booked on), some may have only needed the reassurance the sight of a uniform brings, others certainly needed some intervention and treatment before the ambulance crews arrived. 

Whatever the call is, it is a great feeling that you have hopefully made someone’s day better, be that the patient, or their family. 

  • Summary:

    To celebrate this years Volunteers’ Week, three of EEAST’s Community First Responders (CFR’s) talk about what being a CFR means to them.