A BAND of Redditch lifesavers are gearing up for action when they get the keys to their first emergency vehicle.
Redditch Community First Responders (CFRs) are wired in to ambulance control and because they’re local and have local knowledge are often the first on the scene when there’s been an incident or accident.
The move marks the re-birth of local Redditch CFRs and means the town is once again joining a network of some 500 volunteers across the West Midlands.
Scheme co-ordinator Ross Harris has volunteered for the emergency services for the past 12 years.
He said: “I became a Community First Responder because I want to help people and make a difference.
“I didn’t feel like my day job was that rewarding and I didn’t feel like I was doing something important.
“This role gives an opportunity to do that by helping people in the community.”
CFRs are full trained volunteers who respond to 999 calls on behalf of West Midlands Ambulance Service, dealing with the situation until the ambulance is able to arrive on the scene.
Examples of emergencies they would respond to include cardiac arrests, strokes, asthma attacks, burns and scalds, traumatic injuries and epilepsy incidents.
As well as answering emergencies the volunteer promote health and wellbeing in their local communities by teaching CPR and how to use a defibrilator.
“We are looking to grow our presence in the community and ensure that more people know that we exist,” said Ross.
“Redditch hasn’t had any first responders for the past several years so this scheme will help enormously.
“As well as finding new volunteers, we are also looking for further funding to provide vehicles, uniform’s and kits for our volunteers.”
The local team first got together in January, and have received £10,000 in National Lottery funding and a further £3,000 from Redditch Borough Council.
This has enabled them to buy an emergency vehicle which will be collected within the next week.
To donate to Redditch Community First Responders visit: http://reddirespond.org/donate
THE launch of Redditch CFRs comes as West Midlands Ambulance Service starts a major recruitment drive for Community First Responders in the area.
Successful applicants will attend a nationally recognised training course covering basic life support and defibrillation, medical emergencies, traumatic emergencies and preparing for active duty.
They will then train alongside ambulance crews before going ‘live’.
Volunteers must be 18 or over and have a full driving licence.
For more visit www.jobs.nhs.uk and search for job reference 217-CFR05-22-23 for Hereford and Worcester, 217-CFR03-22-23 for Arden.