Community First Responders (CFR)
First Responder Teams are being used more and more by Scottish Ambulance to provide a speedier response than can be provided by ambulance crews, especially in remote and rural areas. They are an adjunct to the paramedics and are trained to be first at the scene and to support the patient until the ambulance crew arrive. Responder teams are activated by Ambulance Control in response to a 999 call for patients who are unwell. Normally they are not despatched to trauma situations or to young children because these situations need a great deal more training. For more information see the Scottish Ambulance Service website.
Luing Community First Responders
The group is run by volunteers with the support of Scottish Ambulance. It has a Constitution as a sub-group of the Isle of Luing Community Trust and as such has charitable status. The accounts are checked independently each year, and combined with those for LCT for submission to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). Under the Constitution, the group is managed by a committee, which is up for election at each AGM.
Scottish Ambulance provides the necessary training, Disclosure Scotland, liability insurance and replacement of any consumables that are also used by the paramedics. The group has funded all remaining equipment and consumables with assistance from the British Heart Foundation and Argyll Beats Cardiovascular Disease. Responder groups in the SW region of SAS are the responsibility of Vicki Moyes, Community Resuscitation Officer.
Membership of the group is open to anyone resident on Luing, not only those willing to become responders. Membership is free, but members will be asked to help with to raise funds whenever they are needed. Members over 18 have voting rights at the AGMs and are eligible to stand for election to the management committee.
There are currently 12 responders, with 3 recently trained up. The original team of responders became active September 2007 and the scheme was officially launched in March 2008.
All active responders have attended an initial training and assessment course. They are also required to take a shorter course as a refresher every year.
In addition monthly evening training sessions are scheduled. These are given by a paramedic, Robbie, from Oban Station.
Training includes use of defibrillators, CPR, support of medical conditions, use of oxygen and suction equipment and basic first aid.
The British Heart Foundation contributed £1000 to the first defibrillator. Argyll Beats Cardiovascular Disease paid 50% of the cost of both the training equipment (Little Anne with training defib) and the second defibrillator.
Our group operates with two responders on duty and there are two complete sets of equipment.
For call out contact there are two Vodafone pagers, which operate with a single group number.
There are two responders on duty at a time covering nights (6pm to 7 am) and over most / all of the weekend. On Saturday when the car ferry is in operation, responders sometimes book off for a while to go off-island or there may only be one responder on duty.
In an emergency, Ambulance Control sends a message to the pagers requesting a call back for the details. Responders attend the location as soon as possible and will remain until support arrives by ambulance or helicopter.