A TEAM of Bromsgrove volunteers, specially trained to provide life-saving treatment to people in their local community, have received a boost from a Redditch charity.
It began when Glen Boltz, town’s Community First Responders (CFR) co-ordinator, contacted Redditch Heart Safe – now The Charlotte and Craig Saving Hearts Foundation – to see if the organisation would provide him with an IPAD SP1 defibrillator so he and his team could continue their good work for those who need it.
Bromsgrove Community First Responders are fully trained by West Midlands Ambulance Service and work on its behalf to provide life-saving treatments to residents when required.
The self-funded group arranges a lot of fund-raising activities and seeks sponsorship from businesses to enable them to provide support in medical emergencies.
The charity which has provided the equipment was started by Robert and Maggie Underwood who lost their daughter Charlotte to sudden arrhythmic death syndrome at the end of 2010.
Then, three years after Charlotte passed away, son Craig – who had been a key part of Heart Safe – also lost his life after suffering a dissected thoracic aneurysm
Since Charlotte’s death, the family have raised money for 45 defibrillators to be installed in a range of locations, including many schools.
When a 999 call is placed, the CFRs are dispatched to the address at the same time as the ambulance. As they are based in the local area, they are often first on scene and those vital few minutes can make a huge difference to a patient’s treatment and recovery.
Whilst they are awaiting the arrival of an ambulance, CFRs complete observations, establish the medical history and begin treatment. They are all trained to a nationally accredited level by West Midlands Ambulance Service and can deal with a variety of calls including cardiac arrest, choking, heart attacks and strokes.
All of the responders carry a full kit including defibrillators which enables them to provide care where someone has suffered trauma, or a sudden life-threatening illness
Glen thanked the charity for providing the equipment and said: “Volunteering as a Community First Responder can be challenging at times but it is also very rewarding.
“Bromsgrove responders are a group of normal, everyday people who are committed to making a difference and enjoy doing their bit for charity.”
The group is always looking for more Community First Responders.
CFRs have to remain calm and professional as they have to work under pressure where patient care is a priority at all times.
They should be sympathetic and caring towards those they are treating and be reliable and trustworthy.
Anyone wanting information on the scheme or able to help the Bromsgrove CFRs out financially should email Glen on firstname.lastname@example.org for more.