MP calls for the BBC to highlight medical volunteer efforts

August 15, 2012 11:04 AM

Local MP Tom Brake is calling on BBC bosses to raise the profile of, Community First Responders (CRFs) through programmes such as Casualty and Holby City.

Community First Responders are trained medical volunteers on hand to respond rapidly to 999 calls. Working in partnership with St John Ambulance and local ambulance service trusts, CFRs are dispatched by the Ambulance Communications Centre to attend emergencies in their local area.

CFRs are often able to arrive before an ambulance, providing care until paramedics arrive, meaning many more lives have been saved. There are around 20 of these volunteers in the Sutton area who have gone through rigorous medical training to serve the community.

Tom Brake said, 'The work of CFRs is virtually unknown and yet it is vitally important. I have called upon the BBC to use shows such as Casualty to raise awareness of CFRs and the selfless work they do for local communities across the country.

Last year CFRs attended more than 3,500 calls on behalf of the Ambulance Service Trusts. There is a member of the CFR team on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and trained to deliver Basic Life Support and defibrillation to patients in cardiac arrest. They can also assist with diabetic emergencies, unconscious patients, breathing difficulties and seizures.

New volunteers and those wishing to qualify for this role will need to attend an approved training course which includes assessment, and will be required to re-qualify annually. Contact St John Ambulance for more information 08700 10 49 50

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