First Responders

Why do we need First Responders? 

Because First Responders are based within the community in which they live or work, they can attend the scene of an emergency in a very short time, often arriving within the first three or four minutes and in about 90 percent  of cases they will be first on scene. Community First Responders can then begin vital life saving first-aid before the ambulance arrives, further increasing the patient’s chance of survival.

In an ideal world, there would be an ambulance available on every street corner in each town or in every village. This is not the case, and is why First Responders can make such a difference in their communities, especially in rural areas.

First Responders can and do make a difference

Even the best ambulance service in the world cannot get to every 999 call within the first few minutes. There is a period of time between the 999 call being made and the ambulance arriving in which little or no emergency care takes place. This time period has been called the ‘therapeutic vacuum’. Experience shows that community based First Responders can effectively fill this vacuum and provide essential simple treatment in those crucial first few minutes before the ambulance arrives.

In recent years, advances in technology have been made and many interventions which were previously performed only by highly trained individuals are now available to people with much less training. These include small, easy to operate ‘Automatic External Defibrillators’ (AEDs) and lightweight oxygen delivery systems.

Would you like to be a First Responder?

There are no pre-requisite skills required. Volunteers will receive all necessary initial training from South East Coast Ambulance Service, and CHART first responders meet together monthly to share experiences and receive training and news updates.

The minimum commitment required is 4 or 5 hours a week, when you would be on call from your own home.

If you are interested or have further questions, please contact CHART

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