Surprisingly for what is a predominantly affluent area, Balsall Common is an unusually vulnerable to place to live on those rare occasions when serious health incidents occur, such as road accidents or cardiac arrest. 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. As Balsall Common’s Jeffrey Way explains it’s the village location on the outer reaches of the emergency services orbit which places residents and visitors at greater risk.
“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. The problem is that figures suggest that irreversible brain damage usually occurs within 4 minutes of an untreated attack, followed by death within 6-8 minutes.”
Jeffrey is one of our local heroes aiming to fill the breach by working as a Community First Responder, a volunteer trained in various forms of emergency care, which can be the difference between life and death during those critical minutes wait for an ambulance crew to arrive. This vital voluntary organisation is trying to build up a team in the area capable of providing 24 hour daily emergency cover as Jeffrey explains,
“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. We need more people to volunteer to be trained to join our scheme so we can offer a 24 hour service. Please volunteer if you think you can help.”
The scheme is also unfunded and voluntary so the team is always on the look out for help from the community. “We’d like to thank all the local businesses, other benefactors and the Balsall Common Lions for all their financial help, but as always we still need to raise money for equipment, as our fundraising is always an ongoing task.” Anyone interested in helping please visit our First Responders contact page.