The Boscastle Community First Responders team,
Malcolm Green and Andy Templar.
Back Row: Frances Hegarty, Fay Foster, Graham Ferguson (Paramedic from Camelford), Jan Showell and Brenda Green.
The 1st Responders, who aim to respond to emergency calls within 8 minutes, and are fully trained to give lifesaving treatment and reassurance until the ambulance crew arrive, are currently fundraising, to purchase equipment. They have a target of £3000; so far they have raised £1700, and have bought a pulse oxometer, to measure the fluctuating signals caused by blood flow.
Training to become a 1st Responder is free, and if you can give some time
to assist them, either by becoming a volunteer or by raising money, please
call Rose Martin on 01840 250100.
Boscastle community First Responders went live on the 1st May 2005 and have attended several emergency 999 calls in and around the Boscastle area.
What is the Boscastle Community First Responder Scheme?
The Boscastle Community First Responder scheme is
made up of volunteers who live in and around Boscastle. They have all been
trained by Westcountry Ambulance Service NHS Trust in Basic Life Support,
Defibrillation and the care of critically ill or unconscious patients.
They will be called by Ambulance Control to attend Emergency calls in the Boscastle area which are potentially life-threatening. They will provide the appropriate treatment for that patient until the arrival of an Ambulance, Rapid Response Car or Helicopter
Why do we need Community First Responders?
Dr. Richard Cummings of Seattle, USA, discovered that if a series of
events took place in a set sequence, a patient suffering a cardiac arrest
following a Heart Attack stood a much greater chance of survival.
These events are known as the 'Chain of survival'
- Early Access
- Early Basic Life Support
- Early Defibrillation
- Early Advanced Life Support
When the first three links of the 'Chain of
Survival' are put into practice by a Community First Responder, it has been
shown that the survival rate following an out of hospital cardiac arrest can
be improved to. . between 25% to 40%.
The Community First Responders are not a replacement for the Ambulance Service but do provide a valuable extra resource for the Boscastle area.
Who pays for the scheme?
The team members are all volunteers and use their
own vehicles to respond in. They are unpaid and do not receive any expenses.
The equipment costs £3,500 and each group is encouraged to do some fund raising. Any monies raised go into a central fund to provide equipment and training for the next village responder scheme and also to provide replacement equipment and training for the schemes already in existence.
How much training do Responders get?
All Community First Responders receive training
over four days and are then assessed by an independent examiner. If
successful, the responder will spend some shifts with Ambulance crews to
consolidate their knowledge.
Every month the members meet and are able to discuss any training needs that have been identified, they are able to arrange training as a group or on an individual basis.
Every three months, each member of the group has to re-qualify so their skills are constantly up to date and refreshed.
Our aim is to respond within 9 minutes of an
initial 999 call being deployed and we are fully trained to give life saving
treatment and reassurance until the ambulance crew arrives on scene.
At present we are operating 7 days a week, single manning each shift. It is hoped in the near future to give a full 24 hour coverage, but more volunteers are urgently needed. Funding is also of paramount importance. Contacts or email
Westcountry Ambulance Services NHS Trust
covers an area of more than 15,000 square kilometres of coastline. With a
population of over 2 million, which can double in the summer holiday season,
the demand on ambulance services continues to increase.
A patient who suffers cardiac arrest stands an 85% chance of survival if they are defibrillated immediately. These odds decrease by 10% with every minute that passes without treatment.
Boscastle First Response Team is made up of volunteers who have been trained to attend designated emergency calls in areas that are difficult to reach by ambulance within 8 minutes.
First Responders provide vital life support and defibrillation until an ambulance arrives.
Would you please ensure that house names and numbers are clearly visible outside the front of your property as this could save precious time in our response and that of the ambulance crews.
If anyone has any spare time, however small, questions, ideas or feedback, please do not hesitate to contact the following responders:
Frances Hegarty Team Leader 07790 651061
Brenda Green 07773 872696
Fay Foster 07527 597624
Keep on the look out for future fund raising events.
We are here to help save lives.