PEWSEY FIRST RESPONDERS

Pewsey Community Responders are local people who accept the need to provide essential first aid cover in Pewsey until an ambulance can be dispatched.

The scheme, new to Pewsey, has already been implemented in other communities around England. Pewsey First Responders is a partnership between Wiltshire Ambulance Service and Wiltshire St. John Ambulance. St. John is providing the training and administrative support with Wiltshire Ambulance providing the communications and advice.

Pewsey Responder Tina Shaw was very keen to help raise the required funds for our own defibrillator!

She decided to have her head shaved for Pewsey First Responders - with all sponsorship money raised donated towards the purchase of our defibrillator.

The public shaving occurred at The Crown pub, Wilcot Road, Pewsey on 31 July 04 at 9 pm.

The event was a success and Tina expects to net 300-400 after all sponsorship donations are in.

A big thanks to all who participated!

HOW IT WORKS

The trained team members agree to be placed on a roster for hours that they can volunteer to be 'on call'. When they are 'on call' they sign in (by mobile) to the Wilts Ambulance HQ. Should a life threatening situation arise on our patch, we will be contacted to respond at the exact same time the ambulance is dispatched. The intention is that the local 'community responder' will arrive at the incident 10-15 minutes before the ambulance - and minutes can save lives!

WHO CAN VOLUNTEER?

Those considering volunteering will be happy to know that here is no need for any prior First Aid training.

All volunteers who pass basic health and CRB checks will be trained in 5 basic skills:

  • First Aid
  • manual handling
  • general care
  • defibrillator (heart starter)
  • oxygen therapy

The training is initially a full weekend with regular top-up training and skills refresh.

We currently have 7 trained team members but need many more! Please join in! No one knows when someone in our community will next fall ill - it may be someone in your family or someone you know. Ideally, we need 24 volunteers to provide a full and sustainable service.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT?

To help keep our team safe, and ensure we only respond to calls that are within our skill zone, the First Responders team will NOT be used for any of the following types of incidents:

  • road traffic accidents
  • incidents known to involve alcohol or drugs
  • domestic violence
  • any call between 12 midnight and 7 am
  • incidents involving young children

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!

Pewsey First Responders - like all the other community-based First Responder teams, needs to be financially self-sufficient and supported solely by local fund raising. The start-up kit for a First Responder team costs over 2000. We are pleased to say that we have had the following community support to date:

Until sufficient funds are raised, we have generously been loaned a defibrillator kit from Wiltshire Ambulance Service. This was presented to us on 17 July 04 at the Pewsey Summer Fair.

The Marlborough & District Rotary Club wish to thank all the generous sponsors of the Pewsey Summer Fair >>

The first 'on duty' First Responder volunteer signed on for the first time on Wednesday 21 July 04!

Anyone interested in volunteering for this essential local service should contact Sara Hughes on 01672 563728 for more information, or ring the HQ of St. John Ambulance Wilts on 01380 728362.