Dover Community First Responders
To find out more, why not go to the Dover Community First Responders web-site? http://cfrdover.wix.com/dover-cfr
Whitfield Parish Council made a donation for the equipment required which enabled Dominique Foulger-Coetzee to become a Community First Responder.
Dominique lives in Whitfield and operates throughout the Dover Area with 4 other collegues. Community First Responders are volunteers and give up some free time each month to be on call for emergencies.
Community First Responders are volunteer members of the community who are trained to respond to emergency calls through the 999 system in conjunction with the South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust.
In the first 2 months after her training, Dominique attended 15 incidents covering an age range from 9 to 91 years resulting from falls, cardiac arrest, head injury, head wound, nausea / vomiting, chest pain, diarrhoea, allergic reaction, breathing difficulties and fitting.
Community Responders are not a substitute for the ambulance crews but because they are based within the community in which they live or work, they are able to attend the scene of an emergency in a very short time often within the first few minutes and in the majority of incidents they would be first on scene. The Responder can then begin vital life-saving first aid before the arrival of an Ambulance, further increasing a patient’s chance of survival.
South East Coast Ambulance Services aim is to provide the appropriate care to life threatening emergency calls within 8 minutes. Sometimes, particularly in the case of cardiac arrest calls, this can still be too long and this is where the Community Responders role is of vital benefit.
In cases of cardiac arrest, a patient’s heart stops beating, without defibrillation their chances of survival decreases as every minute goes by. Community Responders are trained to use Automatic Defibrillators and can therefore provide vital intervention in such cases.
Community Responders will always be backed up by an Ambulance or Rapid Response Vehicle. However, they often provide the initial assistance to a person who has become suddenly ill or who has been injured in an accident, in our local community.
All Community Responders attend regular training meetings, to learn new skills and to ensure our basic skills are kept up to date. They also have to successfully complete and pass annual assesments, these are governed by South East Coast Ambulance Service.
All Community Responders are also CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checked to a very high standard.
As a Team of Volunteers they are currently unable to provide 24/7 cover but by fundraising for more equipment, such as defibrillators, they aim to increase the number of volunteers on the Dover Team and so improve the number of hours that they are on hand to offer life-saving treatment.
Any monies raised goes to provide medical equipment; the responders do not take a salary.