Appeal goes out for volunteers to become Bradford first responders (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Appeal goes out for volunteers to become Bradford first responders
A five-fold increase in volunteer 999 call responders is needed in Bradford South, according to the ambulance service.
Currently there are five Community First Responders serving a three-mile radius from Odsal fire station, but ideally 25 are needed to cover the area, which includes places such as Lower Wyke, Low Moor, Great Horton, Shelf, Queensbury and the city centre.
Responders are dispatched to category one and two level emergencies, alongside ambulances, when a 999 call is made.
They travel from home, in their own car, to assist with medical conditions such as cardiac arrests, collapses, stroke and diabetes.
Bradford South Community First Responder co-ordinator Mark Halliday said ideally the team would like to provide a 24/7 service every day of the year.
“There’s never been a day where I’ve logged on and not got a job because we’re in built-up residential areas. You can get between four and ten calls in a five hour slot – that’s how busy it is in our area.”
He said there had been times when he had arrived before Yorkshire Ambulance Service paramedics and helped save a life.
“You’ve always got to be on the lookout in case the ambulance can’t get there quickly. You’ve got to have your wits about you and be quick-thinking, you’re thinking all the time,” Mr Halliday said.
First Responders are trained in CPR and the use of an Automatic External Defibrillator, which delivers a controlled electric shock to restart the heart, and carry portable oxygen.
Dave Jones, community defibrillation officer for Yorkshire Ambulance Service in West Yorkshire, said: “Community First Responders make a valuable contribution to their communities. We know that in many medical emergencies the first few minutes are critical. If effective treatment can be performed within those first minutes, lives can be saved and disability reduced.
“Being a First Responder can be extremely rewarding and I would encourage anyone who may be interested in taking on the role to get in touch.
“Many people volunteer as a Community First Responder to gain experience, to help their local communities and some people have had personal experience of a loved one needing prompt medical attention and can see the value in this initiative. Volunteers come from all walks of life.”
Training is given. Successful applicants need to be over 18, physically fit and hold a full driving licence having never been banned from driving with no more than three penalty points. Yorkshire Ambulance Service will also run Criminal Records Bureau checks.
Anyone interested can find out more from Mr Jones by e-mailing Dave.Jones @yas.nhs.uk or calling 0845 120 3155.
Comments are closed on this article.