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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Call goes out for First Responders

THE Welsh Ambulance Service is appealing to the people of North Wales to make a difference to family, friends or neighbours in distress by becoming a Community First Responder.

The Trust is to host an open evening on Tuesday, January 21 in Colwyn Bay in a bid to recruit new volunteers from Flintshire, Wrexham, Conwy and Denbighshire.


First responders are volunteers who give up their spare time to attend appropriate 999 calls and give first hand emergency care to people in their own community.

All volunteers will be trained by the Welsh Ambulance Service to administer basic first aid, oxygen therapy, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of a defibrillator.

First responders do not replace the normal response of a paramedic in a rapid response vehicle or an emergency ambulance, but support the patient until they arrive.

Claire Hurford, who will train the new recruits on behalf of the Trust, said: “Every second counts when you are trying to save someone’s life, and Community First Responder schemes are hugely beneficial in helping the ambulance service provide the best possible pre-hospital care for patients.

“Many of our volunteers have taken experiences that life has thrown at them, such as seeing a loved one suffer a heart attack, and have moulded them into a positive outlook to help family, friends and neighbours.

“You can make a big difference by just carrying out a few simple skills that we can teach you. If you are proud of the community in which you live, becoming a first responder can really help the heart of your village or town keeping beating long into the future.”

The two-hour event at Porth Eirias Watersports Complex in Colwyn Bay will start at 7pm.

After a brief introduction, visitors will get a detailed overview of the
Community First Responder scheme, before hearing first hand from an existing first responder.

Those who would like to pursue it further will be given an informal interview and assessment on the evening.

“Community First Responders play an important role alongside frontline ambulance staff in making sure patients get appropriate help quickly and efficiently,” said Elwyn Price-Morris, Chief Executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service.

“Community First Responders are a key partner in the chain of survival and very much part of the whole Welsh Ambulance Service family,” he added.

If you would like to attend the open evening, call Claire Hurford on 01248 682028 or email Claire.Hurford@wales.nhs.uk so that you can fill out a pre-attendance questionnaire and make a note of important documentation you will need to bring.

Visit the ‘Community First Responders’ section of the Welsh Ambulance Service website for more information.

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