Shropshire town's first responders group wants new volunteers to help save lives

A group which helps the ambulance service respond to 999 calls is appealing for fresh volunteers.

Newport's first responders are appealing for new volunteers to join the group
Newport's first responders are appealing for new volunteers to join the group

Newport First Responders say they have not been able to recruit or train volunteers due to the restrictions of the pandemic, but are now asking people interested to come forward.

First Responders play a vital role in helping to save people's lives – providing local help in getting to 999 calls to support the ambulance service, and are often the first on the scene.

The Newport group attend on average 10 incidents a week – ranging from car crashes to cardiac arrests.

The volunteers have their own specialised BMW 4x4 to get to incidents, funded by a campaign led by Newport Rotary Lite.

Russ Brooks, Newport Community Response Coordinator, said that recruitment had been hampered by the restrictions of the pandemic.

He said that they are now in a position to take on new volunteers, and urged those interested in contacting the group.

Community First Responders are provided with training from West midlands Ambulance Service.

Mr Brooks said those joining the group would be playing a vital role in helping their local community.

He said: "The Community First Responders provide a critical voluntary first response service covering Newport and our villages. We get called by the ambulance service in response to many 999s, it means our town and the area get a trained volunteer on scene very quickly which is obviously good for the patient.

"We can get called to a wide variety of incidents including cardiac arrests, road traffic collisions, people who are unconscious or fitting, or traumatic injuries. There’s quite a range.”

“Basically if someone from our area calls the ambulance service on 999 and it’s the sort of incident we are trained to deal with the first responders will respond and are often first on scene. It means that care can be provided very quickly and until the ambulance itself can arrive.”

He added: "The ambulance service provide excellent training over three weekends supported with some shifts on Ambulances themselves. We work closely with the ambulance crews and are well supported by the service. Our first responder vehicle is extremely well equipped thanks to the town’s amazing support for the Newport Rotary Lite First Responder Vehicle campaign.

"But we need more volunteers. We attend 10 incidents a week on average – that’s more than 11,000 since we became the first Community First Responder service in Shropshire back in 2001 – and we haven’t been able to recruit or train new volunteers during the pandemic but now we can. Can you help? We provide an excellent service to our town and the villages. It’s a role with lots of variety and responsibility, working with a great team, and I can guarantee you won’t be bored.

“If being a Community First Responder sounds like it might be for you please either contact me through the “Newport Community First Responders” page on Facebook, or apply through the NHS jobs website https://www.jobs.nhs.uk/xi/vacancy/917136801.”

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