Call goes out for vol­un­teers around the is­land to train as life­line first re­spon­ders

The Oban Times - - News -

THE Scot­tish Am­bu­lance Ser­vice is look­ing for vol­un­teers to set up a com­mu­nity first re­spon­der scheme on Mull, specif­i­cally in Tober­mory, Der­vaig and the Ross of Mull.

Since the launch of its Com­mu­nity First Re­spon­der ini­tia­tive sev­eral years ago, the Scot­tish Am­bu­lance Ser­vice has seen over 137 schemes es­tab­lished across the coun­try, with new com­mu­ni­ties volunteering ev­ery week.

Un­der the scheme, the ser­vice trains com­mu­nity vol­un­teers in ba­sic first aid and life-sav­ing skills so that they can de­liver an early re­sponse to pa­tients while the am­bu­lance is on its way. The re­spon­ders are de­ployed to ap­pro­pri­ate calls by the am­bu­lance ser­vices’ Am­bu­lance Con­trol Cen­tre. (ACC)

First re­spon­ders are asked to at­tend se­ri­ous and lifethreat­en­ing emer­gen­cies, such as breath­ing dif­fi­cul­ties, chest pains, car­diac ar­rest or un­con­scious­ness. They are not sent to road col­li­sions or trau­matic in­juries or any­thing out­with their train­ing. An emer­gency am­bu­lance is al­ways dis­patched first and the role of the re­spon­der is to sup­port the pa­tient while the am­bu­lance is on its way, pro­vid­ing an im­por­tant ser­vice that ben­e­fits the com­mu­nity.

The Com­mu­nity Re­sus­ci­ta­tion De­vel­op­ment Of­fi­cer, a para­medic with the Scot­tish Am­bu­lance Ser­vice, said: ‘Speed of in­ter­ven­tion can of­ten be crit­i­cal when re­spond­ing to 999 calls. The first re­spon­der ini­tia­tive cre­ates an even faster re­sponse for pa­tients and is co- or­di­nated with our ex­ist­ing am­bu­lance re­sources. In a med­i­cal emer­gency, it is of­ten the sim­ple first aid skills, like mak­ing sure an air­way is clear, that save a life.

‘The pro­gramme is an en­hance­ment to our ex­ist­ing am­bu­lance re­sources and each scheme works lo­cally with our staff to en­sure on­go­ing re­fresher train­ing in ba­sic life-sav­ing skills and the use of med­i­cal equip­ment. 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’ and light­weight oxy­gen de­liv­ery sys­tems.’

Any­one in­ter­ested in volunteering should con­tact Chris­tine Lyall, clyall@nhs.net or tele­phone 07500 952 053.

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