First Responders are unpaid volunteer members of the community who are trained to respond to emergency calls through the 999 system in conjunction with the Ambulance Service. Responders provide immediate care to patients in rural areas where distance may delay the prompt arrival of an ambulance. They are trained to deliver Basic Life Support and defibrillation to patients in Cardiac Arrest and appropriate calls including oxygen administration to patients suffering from a range of Conditions.
Because First Responders are based within the community in which they live or work, they can attend the scene of an emergency in a very short time, often arriving the first three or four minutes and in about 90% of cases they would be first on scene. The Community First Responders can then begin vital life saving first aid before the Ambulance arrives, further increasing the patient's chance of survival.
In an ideal world, there would be an Ambulance available on every street corner in each town or in every village. This is not the case, and is why First Responders can make such a difference in their communities, especially in rural areas.
Thirty years ago, it was discovered that if a series of events took place, in a set sequence, a patient suffering from a heart attack stood a greater chance of survival. These events are now known as the 'Chain of survival'.
We know that in many medical emergencies and after accidents, people can die within the first few minutes. We also know that if certain simple but critical interventions can be performed within those first few minutes that life can be saved and disability reduced. This is especially the case for heart attacks, choking and injuries that have caused someone to lose consciousness.
Even the best ambulance service in the world cannot get to every 999 call within the first few minutes. There is a period of time between the 999 call being made and the ambulance arriving in which little or no emergency care takes place. This time period has been called the therapeutic vacuum'. We know that community based First Responders can fill this vacuum and provide essential simple treatment in those crucial first few minutes before the ambulance arrives.
In recent years, advances in technology have been made, and many interventions which were previously performed only by highly trained individuals are now available to people with much less training. These include small, easy to operate 'external defibrillators' (AEDs) and lightweight oxygen delivery systems. This has improved the pre-hospital survival rate in heart attacks between 25% and 30%.
Hornsea Responders are self-funded, and are always looking for funds to buy, new equipment, additional training etc. If any person or organisation would like to contribute please contact - Nick Cox, Scheme co-ordinator by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
or alternatively Councillor Barbara Jefferson, chairman of the British Heart Foundation and founder of the Group who is still available to be contacted if anyone wishes to join on 01964 533122/01482 393250.