Why do we need Community First Responders?
Dr Richard Cummins from Seattle, USA, discovered that if a series of events take place in a set sequence, a heart attack victim has a greater chance of survival. These events are known as the “Chain of Survival”.
– Early Access
– Early Resuscitation (CPR)
– Early Defibrillation
– Early Advanced Life Support
When put into practice, these events can improve the pre-hospital survival rate by 25% to 30%. The Ambulance Service believes that CFR’s trained to provide links 2 and 3 can significantly improve the chance of survival.
Where are teams set up?
In towns and villages where it is challenging for the emergency ambulance to arrive within the valuable first few minutes, usually in the more rural or remote areas of the region.
Who runs the team?
The CFR teams have a full support network employed by the Ambulance Service. One member of the team is elected as the co-ordinator, this person can also be a CFR, their main role, however, is to organise cover, support team members by organizing training and assessments and keeping the kit appropriately stocked. The coordinator also liaises between the team members and the CFR support and management, working for the ambulance service.
How much would I have to commit?
As a responder you should give 200 hours as a minimum per year, this can include – Events, Training, Observation shifts and of course responding!
How big an area is covered?
To improve the chance of patient survival, a quick response is needed. The decision is made by the Ambulance Service and the team together, using their joint experience and local knowledge. We aim to cover the whole of Rutland but clearly spend most of our time in the more populated areas of the county.
Are there any emergencies to which CFR’s wouldn’t be asked to attend?
Yes, emergencies that would be considered unsafe for them such as known violent situations or something they have not been trained to deal with. Also Road Traffic Accidents.
Is there any support after dealing with a serious incident?
Following all serious incidents the designated Ambulance Service representative would be available to offer debriefing and support that you may require.
How CFR’s are called out?
The Ambulance Service Emergency Control Centre contacts the CFR by mobile phone.
What would happen if somebody made a complaint against a CFR?
The Ambulance Service has an established complaints procedure and Active CFR’s are covered by the Ambulance Service insurance against medical negligence.