First Responders seek volunteers in Monifieth

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COULD you help to save a life? Community First Responders is looking for volunteers in the Monifieth area.

The organisation is made up of members of the public who volunteer to help by responding to medical emergencies while the ambulance is on its way.

All volunteers receive specialist training and equipment. St John in Angus is promoting First Responder teams in local areas and anyone who wishes to help in their community can volunteer.

No previous medical experience is necessary, but volunteers need a caring attitude and the ability to deal with potentially distressing situations. Initial ‘first person on the scene’ training is given by the Scottish Ambulance Service locally and usually at weekends, with monthly refresher training.

Responders are trained in the use of automatic external defibrillators, oxygen therapy and a wide range of emergency skills. If there is a life threatening emergency in the Responders area, the volunteer will be asked to respond to assist until the ambulance crew arrives.

To become a volunteer, First Responders must be at least 18 years of age, be able to demonstrate a level of fitness for the role, be an effective communicator, be able to work under pressure, yet stay calm, must reside or work in the area in which the scheme is based and be able to respond to incidents without delay. Some first aid knowledge is an advantage (but not essential), and volunteers should be able to offer a long term commitment.

First Responders can attend alone at an incident using their own car, with an anticipation of being at the incident within two or three minutes, which greatly enhances the survival prospects of a patient in cardiac arrest.

Murray McEwan, Scottish Ambulance Service resuscitation development officer, oversees recruitment, training, and supervision of operational activity.

Anyone who is interested can e-mail Bill Spence on volunteer2go@btinternet.com with their details, and he will contact them about taking their interest forward, or contact Rod Bowman through Monifieth Parish Church.