West Midlands Ambulance Service will be on hand at the Market Square in Ludlow on Saturday 23rd April to encourage new local recruits for Community First Responders, thanks to an outreach programme suggested by Philip Dunne MP.
Community First Responders act as a rapid first point of contact in emergencies, before an ambulance can arrive. They are trained by West Midlands Ambulance Service to provide basic lifesaving care, and work as volunteers in the community around their schedules. In incidences of cardiac arrest, CFRs and members of the public trained in CPR and the use of the defibrillators in the community can be the difference between life and death, particularly in rural locations. After a cardiac arrest happens, for every minute that no-one is doing CPR, the chance of survival drops by 10%.
Mr Dunne met WMAS Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, earlier this month, and put forward the need to recruit more CFRs in South Shropshire. Mr Dunne raised his concerns that the recruitment website was out of date and no adverts for the voluntary position existed on NHS Jobs. This was swiftly put right by WMAS, who posted a new job advert the next day.
The MP also suggested a programme of engagement with people in South Shropshire, who might want to become Community First Responders. He has helped arrange for WMAS to exhibit on the Market Square in Ludlow on Saturday 23rd April, from 8am to 3pm. Staff from WMAS will be on hand to display their vehicles, kit and equipment to interested members of the public, as well as answering questions on how to become a CFR.
Mr Dunne said: “I am in regular discussions with WMAS about ambulance response times, but one way which we all agree could improve local emergency care in the community is through a strong network of Community First Responders. I am very pleased WMAS have responded so quickly to my two asks on this aspect – to put in place immediate opportunities to recruit Community First Responders, and to come and speak to local residents in South Shropshire who might be interested in signing up.
I encourage anyone interested in giving back to the community and learning crucial lifesaving skills to come along to Ludlow Market Square on Saturday 23rd April from 8am to 3pm, have a chat with WMAS staff, and find out more about the joining and training process.”