First Responders are a voluntary group. Our aim is to get life saving skills and equipment to patients as quickly as possible in an emergency. In rural areas such as ours, First Responders can often get vital care and support to a patient within minutes, saving precious time whilst the emergency services get to the scene. If, for example, our local ambulance, which is usually based in Kirkbymoorside is busy, then the next response is from Malton or even York but statistics show that treatment within the first ten minutes of suffering a heart attack can be vital.
The existing group, which is made up of volunteers from Oswaldkirk and Stonegrave, achieves a time based coverage of perhaps 60%. With more volunteers we can achieve a better coverage and we are also keen to recruit from surrounding villages. We respond on average to a call out every couple of months and have certainly saved at least one person's life. In most cases however we simply need to offer support until the ambulance arrives.
The picture shows a TENYAS volunteer carrying the emergency equipment rucsack. The rucsack contains a defibrillator, oxygen and other relevant medical material.
Our rotas are drawn up on what volunteers say they can do each month. There are no imposed duty periods and no minimum targets to be achieved - volunteers simply do what they can.
All volunteers are trained and assessed such that they work under the umbrella of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service which offers full back up. Call outs occur at the same time as the ambulance is alerted. Responders then phone the ambulance control to confirm that they can respond and to receive a formal instruction to proceed. This system ensures that Responders are not called out to road traffic accidents, children or potentially dangerous situations for which we are not trained.
The group is always looking for more volunteers in order to maintain 24 hour cover.
If you would like to volunteer or require further information please ring Ian on 01439 788274 or email.