Groups and Clubs

Community First Responders are part of a country wide scheme with the Fairlight Responder Team coming  under the wing of the South East Coast Ambulance Service.

(l. to r. Janet Lutman, Dot James & Diane Mendelson)

The group was started in 2010 by Liz Brooker who is a paramedic with the Ambulance service. Dot James joined in 2011 followed by John Miles in 2012. John has recently had to step down but Janet Lutman & Diane Mendelson have now completed their training to become responders. 

The way it works is, if somebody calls 999 for an ambulance in Fairlight, a responder will also be called, if they are on duty. The Responder will go along and assist whilst waiting for an ambulance. This is not a replacement service for an ambulance but may provide help in vital minutes prior to the ambulance’ arrival. Their main brief is to provide life saving skills in the case of a patient needing resuscitation. The kit they are supplied with contains a defibrillator, which can be used to re-start the heart in the case of cardiac arrest alongside providing effective cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.

 A Responder does not have to have any medical background as all training for the role is provided by the ambulance service. This consists of an initial 3 day training course with assessments, followed up with refresher courses throughout the year.

Calls in Fairlight average 2 a week with responders being sent to assist with a variety of situations. Once the call has been received by the ambulance service they would carry out an immediate decision on whether it is an appropriate call for a responder to go too. Responders are not sent to road traffic accidents, maternities or situations which they may feel will put that responder in a vulnerable position. The call would then be passed as a text message to their mobile phone and the responder will confirm by reply that they are attending the call.

Once a responder has arrived at a call they are able to make an immediate assessment of the patient and decide what treatment they are able to provide whilst waiting for further assistance. Fairlight Responders have already been seen to provide reassurance and support in very stressful situations and work closely with the ambulance crew once they arrive to carry on the care.

If you would like to find out more about the Responder Scheme or are interested in becoming a responder, please go to the South East Coast Ambulance Service website, http://www.secamb.nhs.uk.

 

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