Call goes out for volunteers around the island to train as lifeline first responders
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, email@example.com or telephone 07500 952 053.