Friday, November 16, 2018

Ards Peninsula First Responders

 

Background

 

Ards Peninsula First Responder Scheme is managed and coordinated by a group of volunteers from the Ards Peninsula working in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance service.

We cover all of the BT22 Postal Area and since going live in February 2015 we have responded to over five hundred 999 calls on the Ards Peninsula.

At present we have twenty fully trained volunteers who have willingly given up their time to help save lives.

Ards Peninsula First Responders respond to calls anytime day or night whatever the weather, when a call comes through from the Northern Ireland Ambulance service Responders drop everything whether at work or at home to attend calls.

All those trained to respond have been equipped with a Defibrillator and Emergency kit bag when on duty and Responders will receive refresher training every six months.

We are a self-funded charity and rely totally on private donations, fundraising activities and from time to time avail of small pockets of statutory funding opportunities.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance service is supportive of the initiative saying:

“NIAS welcomes the establishment of this initiative which will complement existing Ambulance provision within the Peninsula. First Responder groups play an important role in providing immediate assistance to a casualty while Ambulances, which will continue to be dispatched as normal, make their way to the call to provide high quality clinical care to those in need”

 

WHAT IS A COMMUNITY FIRST RESPONDER?

 

Community First Responders are volunteers who give their time freely to help care for people and save lives in their community.

Responders are everyday members of the general public who are trained to deal with a wide range of potentially life threatening conditions until the arrival of an ambulance.

Very often the role they play is one of reassurance in instances where someone has chest pains but in more extreme cases they can perform CPR (cardio- pulmonary resuscitation) or use a defibrillator (AED) to restart someone’s heart.

First Responders provide support to the regular Ambulance Service by attending non-traumatic serious and life threatening 999 calls in and around the community to provide the earliest possible intervention for patients in the first few minutes until the arrival of an Ambulance.

The Ambulance Service dispatcher is able to send Community First responders to a range of incidents; they are dispatched at the same time as the Ambulance Crews, but because they are often in rural areas Community First Responders can arrive before the Ambulance. In cases of Cardiac Arrest it has been identified that the chance of a positive outcome reduces by approximately 10% for every minute that effective CPR and Defibrillation are delayed.

The scheme can be incredibly rewarding as Responders could well end up saving someone’s life. Many Villages where schemes exist show great community sprit knowing that there are people there who could be life savers.

Charity no. 101165

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