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Barnsley First Responders

04 June 2007

4 June 2007

Yorkshire Ambulance Service is looking for volunteers across Barnsley and the Dearne Valley to join its Community First Responder schemes. The responders provide local people with life-saving treatment before an ambulance arrives on scene, meaning they can get to patients in the first vital minutes.

Community First Responders can be called to emergencies, such as a heart attack, breathing difficulties or a collapse. They are trained in Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and the use of an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) which delivers a controlled electric shock to restart the heart. First Responders also carry portable oxygen. 

Volunteers are being sought for existing schemes in Cudworth, Darfield, Wombwell and Penistone.  In addition, Yorkshire Ambulance Service is hoping to set up new schemes in areas such as Royston, Hoyland, Shafton and the Dearne Valley - but if there are 6 or more interested volunteers in any community a scheme would be considered.

Emma Scott, Community Defibrillation Officer for Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said:

"Community First Responders make a valuable contribution to their communities, particularly in the many rural and outlying areas across the county. We know that in many medical emergencies the first few minutes are critical. If effective treatment can be performed within those first few minutes, lives can be saved and disability reduced.  This is especially true for heart attacks and injuries that have caused someone to lose consciousness.

"Being a First Responder can be extremely rewarding and I would urge anyone who may be interested in taking on the role to come along to the Open Evening and find out more."

Applicants need to be over-18, physically fit and hold a full driving licence with no more than three penalty points. Yorkshire Ambulance Service will also run Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks on candidates. Full training will be provided by Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

An Open Evening is being held at the Community Partnership Office, St Mary's Centre, 4 Park Street, Wombwell, S73 0DJ on Wednesday 20 June at 7.00pm.  This will be a chance for anyone interested in finding out more to ask any questions they may have and speak to those who are already involved in the schemes.

Anyone interested in attending should contact either;
Emma Scott on 07970 728136 or emma.scott@syas.nhs.uk
or David Smith on 07973 693702 or david.smith@syas.nhs.uk

Note to Editors

1. More than 260,000 people suffer a heart attack in the UK each year, about a third of whom die before reaching hospital due to cardiac arrest. A cardiac arrest most often occurs as a result of a heart attack, when the heart is starved of oxygen. Cardiac arrests cause the heart either to quiver, known as fibrillation, or stop beating altogether. The defibrillators carried by Community First Responders work by delivering a controlled electric shock through the chest wall to the heart to restore a normal heartbeat after a cardiac arrest. The faster this treatment is delivered, the better the outcome for the patient.

2. Community First Responders can also administer oxygen and are trained in basic life support skills, which could be invaluable in the minutes before the ambulance arrives. All Responders carry Yorkshire Ambulance Service ID cards and may attend patients with chest pain or difficulty breathing and patients who are unconscious or who have collapsed.

3. When an emergency call is received at the Ambulance Communication Centre, an ambulance or Rapid Response Vehicle is dispatched as soon as possible.  At the same time a Community First Responder, on-call in the area, can be alerted with the relevant details and asked to assist at the 999 incident. 


Produced By: Corporate Communications Department