Urgent appeal issued for more community first responders

Loo Morton, from Richmond Community First Responders, helps a patient.

Community first responder (CFRs) schemes across Richmondshire are urgently seeking new volunteers.

CFRs attend medical emergencies in their local area providing vital treatment in those vital minutes before an ambulance arrives.

These locally-based people are part of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) and all training and equipped is provided by YAS.

Officials say CFRs are supported every step of the way with a manager employed by YAS, Lee Whitworth, a local co-coordinator, other fellow CFRs and the whole of  YAS.

CFRs are trained locally in patient care, life support skills, and using equipment such as oxygen, Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and  the latest electronic patient lifting chairs.

Lee said: “We need more volunteers and we need them now, the Yorkshire Ambulance Service will give you all the skills and training you’ll need, you’re supported in every way.

“I am very proud of the volunteers we have, who between them were on call responding to those local emergences and serving their communities for a total of 28,564 hours in 2023.”

Due to its large geographical size and small resident population,  the Two Dales Team which covers Swaledale and Arkengarthdale is always needing to recruit volunteers to continue to provide a 24/7 cover.

The local coordinator Pete Mckay said: “Living where we do the ambulance attendance times can always be challenging and there is an increased need for CFRs to be on call in the Dales, please think about becoming a volunteer, with great training and the support of our manager YAS you’ll be surprised what you can achieve and the good you can do.”

If you have a desire to care for people in a medical emergency and are willing to be on call regularly from home, you simply need to:

  • Be aged over 18
  • Hold a full driving licence with no more than 3 penalty points and have access to your own vehicle
  • Be on call for a minimum of 5 hours a week
  • Undergo occupational health and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks
  • Provide a current reference

For an informal chat Lee can be contacted on lee.whitworth@nhs.net and Pete via ReethResponders@gmail.com

For further details of the role and how to apply, visit www.communityresponders.yas.nhs.uk