Could 2017 be the year that you volunteer as a Community First Responder?
In 2016, 327 people became community first responders (CFRs) after training from the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST).
And ambulance service bosses are urging people who are interested in helping patients in their community to sign up and join one of the 300 CFR groups in the region.
The groups in Tring and Little Gaddesden are particularly keen to hear from potential new members.
Ambulance service spokesman Steve Catley said: “New Year is a time for making resolutions and setting goals for the forthcoming year.
“By becoming a CFR you will be joining a big family of lifesavers and will be making a vital contribution to your community and the ambulance service.
“We are privileged to have so many dedicated CFRs who give up a lot of their time to volunteer.
“However, you can still make a difference if you can only spare a few hours a week.”
First responders are trained by the ambulance serviceto respond to medical emergencies including cardiac arrests, patients with chest pain, breathing difficulties, allergic reactions and diabetes emergencies.
Training usually takes place over the weekend.
Because CFRs volunteer where they live or work, they often reach a patient before the arrival of an ambulance clinician.
Every second counts when someone is not breathing and CFRs are trained to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and carry defibrillators.
For more information about becoming a CFR and opportunities to become a volunteer car driver or Trust User Group member, visit www.eastamb.nhs.uk/join-the-team/community-first-responders
Read a blog post from a CFR who volunteers in her Hertfordshire village at www.eastamb.nhs.uk/blogs/making-a-difference-when-people-are-at-their-most-vulnerable/342?article=342