There is 150,000 deaths in the UK from cardiac arrest annually in the UK and survival can be heavily dictated by the speed at which initial treatment is provided. Figures suggest that irreversible brain damage usually occurs within 4 minutes of an untreated attack, followed by death within 6-8 minutes.
Heart of England Community First Responders aim to plug some of the gaps in rapid response times and Balsall Common’s Jeffrey Way told us,
“Balsall Common is right on the edge of the areas covered by Solihull & Coventry Ambulance Stations and because of this it can take a long time for an Ambulance to arrive at an emergency. We currently have two volunteer Community First Responders trained by the Ambulance Service, to attend life threatening Category A 999 calls before the ambulance arrives. We’re able to give life saving treatement in the first few vital minutes of an emergency.”
[Balsall Common village centre – “right at the edge of emergency service boundaries”]
In the case of cardiac arrest 80% of patients experience an irregular heartbeat, which is reversible by an Automated External Defibrillator, which First Responders are trained to use. Around 85% of such patients would survive if Defibrillation treatment were available. Few attempts at resusitation succeed after 10 minutes versus target ambulance response times in the area of 8 minutes.
First Responders are volunteers trained to a Nationally recognised standard to provide ‘First Person On Scene (FPOS)’ care to patients suffering from serious conditions such as Cardiac Arrest, severe Asthma Attacks, sudden collapse, medical problems and accidents in the home or workplace.
Jeffrey Way says,
“We need more people to volunteer to be trained and First Responders to join our scheme so we can offer a 24 hour service. Please volunteer if you think you can help. The scheme is unfunded and voluntary so we also need to raise money for equipment. Many thanks to all the local businesses, other benefactors, and particularly Balsall Common Lions for all their financial help.”
Anyone interested in helping or finding out more should contact:
Heart of England First Responders
111 Needlers End Lane
Tel: 01676 535738
Mob: 07970 674860
Fax: 01676 534946
email: [removed on request]
Emergency Mobile 07882 735714
Editorial note 18th January 2014. This organisation subsequently merged with another, the new incarnation of which now operates under the Fast Aid banner.