North East Ambulance Service is looking for more community first responders

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North East Ambulance Service is appealing for more community first responders to help save more lives.

There are currently over 100 community first responders (CFRs) volunteering their time across the North East, supporting patients within their own communities whilst emergency ambulance crews are travelling.

Every year, CFRs offer around 29,000 hours of their own time to help their local communities by attending more than 1,400 incidents, providing vital life-saving support, or simply a reassuring face, in the minutes between a 999 call being made and the crew’s arrival.

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Thanks to a £181,080 grant from NHS Charities Together, North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) is recruiting more volunteers to support communities in most need, who are not currently covered by CFR schemes, increasing CFR numbers by putting in 24 new schemes.

Community first responderCommunity first responder
Community first responder

Recruitment began in July last year and NEAS is now looking for volunteers in the following areas:

  • Newbiggin/ Ashington
  • Bishop Auckland South
  • Ferryhill East, Durham
  • Cornforth, County Durham
  • Thorntree, Middlesbrough
  • North Ormesby and Brambles, Middlesbrough
  • Pallion North, Sunderland
  • Lakeside and Farrington,
  • Shotton and Haswell, Durham
  • Hendon and Docks, Sunderland
  • Southwick, Sunderland
  • Redcar Lakes South
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Paul Brolly, first responder co-ordinator at NEAS, said: “The community first responder role is crucial in providing early interventions in the first minutes of an emergency. Living within the communities they serve, they can often be on scene almost immediately providing basic life-saving support and initial treatment.

“There are specific areas of the North East that are currently under-represented by CFRs and we are looking to increase our volunteers to match the areas that need support.

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“We are extremely grateful for the support of our CFRs who really do help save lives.”

Emma Foody is a newly trained CFR. She said: “I was watching Ambulance on the TV, seeing the work of our incredibly emergency services. I thought I wish I could do something, play some small role in serving those who need it and the crews who work so tirelessly. I saw NEAS were advertising for CFRs and thought I could do that!

“It’s amazing to play a part in keeping the people in my community healthy and safe. I’ve learned new skills, enjoyed meeting new people and have been able to do something worthwhile.”

Recruitment is now open and closes on 14 April 2023.

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