‘First responders’ sought in Carnoustie

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CARNOUSTIE residents are being urged to consider becoming a life-saver as part of a new initiative.

St John’s Scotland are rolling out the ‘First Responder’ programme across the country, and the Angus and Dundee branch are trying to recruit volunteers in Carnoustie.

The ‘First Responders’ scheme aims to provide assistance in the first instance to people who become ill or injured.

The programme is already up and running in Kellas, Monikie and Wellbank, and volunteers are given full training by the Scottish Ambulance Service.

Chairman of the Angus and Dundee branch of St John’s Scotland, Bill Spence, said: “Time is of the essence when someone collapses. There are a few minutes when something that can be done is effective.

“There are first responders in a fair amount of the country, and we now have a small trained nucleus in Monikie and Wellbank, and we are keen for Carnoustie to be involved.”

First responders would in theory be the first on the scene, and with their paramedic training buy valuable minutes for the ambulance to arrive.

This is very often a problem in rural areas, where country roads and adverse weather conditions can work against ambulance response times, but using local responders can help.

The first responder is trained to recognise whether they can assist the patient and may give CPR, and oxygen or if necessary bring an automatic defibrillator into use.

Mr Spence continued: “We think this is something worth doing, what the first responder will be doing is essentially holding the line until the ambulance arrives.

“I would strongly encourage people from the Carnoustie area to come forward.”

Volunteers should be over the age of 18, hold a full driving licence and be from Carnoustie or the surrounding area.

They will receive training that meets the standards set by the Scottish Ambulance Service, for more information call the St John Team for Angus and Dundee on 01382 350553 or email volunteer2go@btinternet.com.