Community first responders are ready to save lives across the region

NEAS has trained its latest cohort of CFRs

A new cohort of volunteer community first responders are ready to help save lives across the North East. 

North East Ambulane Service has trained 12 students, which has increased the number of community first responders (CFRs) by 20%. 

This increase is thanks to a £181,080 grant from NHS Charities Together, which has helped NEAS recruit volunteers in 24 new CFR schemes to support communities most in need. 

Every year, CFRs offer around 29,000 hours of their own time. They help provide vital life-saving support in the minutes between a 999 call being made and an ambulance arriving. 

Paul Brolly, first responder co-ordinator st NEAS, said: "The community first role is crucial in providing early interventions in the first minutes of an emergency. Living within the communities they serve, they can often be on scene almost immediately providing basic life-saving support and initial treatment. 

"We are extremely grateful for the support of our CFRs, who really do help save lives." 

Emma Foody is one of the newly-trained CFRs. She said: "I was watching Ambulance on the TV, seeing the work of our incredibly emergency services. i thought to myself, I wish I could do something, play some small role in serving those who need it and the crews who work so tireleslly. I saw NEAS were advertising for CFRs and thought I could do that! 

"It's amazing to play a part in keeping the people in my community healthy and safe. I've learned new skills, enjoyed meeting new people and been able to do something rewarding and worthwhile. Glad I put the telly on that night."

EEmma Burrows workes in support services at NEAS. She said: "I've worked at NEAS since 2018 and when I heard about the CFR role, I was immediately interested. It wasn't until 2022 there were any vacancies so I applied straight away. 

"Before working at NEAS, I worked in elderly care so have always had a passion for caring for people in need. I know how incredibly hard the operational crews work and at times of pressure they are not able to get to patients as soon as they would like to, so the CFR role is an opportunity to assist them in ensuring patients are reached as quickly as possible. 

"It can be challenging but I feel very privileged to be in a position where I can help my local community and assist my operational colleagues."  

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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