12 more people have attained vital life-saving skills as Community First Responders.
Response times for the paramedic service can vary considerably depending on a patient’s location.
In emergency situations every minute counts, which is why the Isle of Man Ambulance Service works with St John Ambulance to train volunteers as Community First Responders (CFRs) – of whom there are now 46 islandwide – who are despatched by the emergency service’s joint control room if there is an incident in their area awaiting an ambulance.
The qualification of 12 new CFRs has boosted the community service. The volunteers were taught advanced first aid skills over four training sessions in November and December, and are now competent in techniques such as CPR and defibrillation in cases of cardiac arrest, giving oxygen to those with breathing difficulties, offering reassurance to patients and gathering information to save paramedics time when they arrive at the scene.
Gerry Jones, who coordinates the scheme for St John Ambulance, said: ‘We had a fantastic response to our appeal for new CFRs. The interest was so high that we have enough would-be volunteers on a waiting list to fill the next course.’
Steve Crowe, ambulance liaison officer for the CFRs, said: ‘The original scheme was set up by Graham and Val Platt in Peel and, from its early days, has expanded to the south, north and east, with plans to expand further as funding becomes available.’
He added: ‘This is a chance for people to assist their community when others fall ill and need medical assistance or, in some cases, just reassurance. It is great that each time we run one of these courses, we fill every available seat.’
For more about the Community First Responders, or to offer donations of money or equipment to support their work, contact Gerry at St John Ambulance on 674387.