It’s a very busy day for us. Nearly 2,0

It’s a very busy day for us. Nearly 2,000 calls so far – nearly 20% above what we’d see in a four-week average. More about It’s your call & using 999 right here:http://www.eastamb.nhs.uk/your-service/campaigns/its-your-call.htm http://ow.ly/i/mpaec

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Guest blog: There have been so many highlights being a CFR

David Halsey, of Haverhill, Kedington and Hundon Community First Responders, said…

David Halsey resized

I have been a responder for five years, on average I do 96 hours per month.  I became a responder as I was diagnosed with an illness, and at the same time I saw an advert asking for responders. I felt that I could give my time to support the community and for people that needed help.

The highlight was the first heart attack patient I attended. He was having clear symptoms of a heart attack and then went into cardiac arrest in front of me and the paramedic. We got the patient back with one shock and then went off to hospital. Four weeks to the day I got called back to the same patient having chest pains and was able to give the ambulance crew a full history of the patient. Three years later I was fundraising in the town centre when I got a tap the back and this voice said ‘I want to shake your hand and say thank you for saving my life’.

There have been so many highlights, but it has to be when you get stopped in the street or supermarket and thanked for what you have done.

The most challenging aspect has to be when you on call and you are so busy having to go from one call to another, the upside is you know that the Trust is busy and you are able to help them best you can. The most challenging can be the lack of sleep or sometimes food, especially when the phone goes off just as you are about to tuck into your dinner.

The feeling and personal satisfaction that what you have done has potentially saved somebody’s life, that can’t be put into words but is the best feeling.

The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) will be posting a blog from a CFR every day during national volunteers’ week, which runs until 12th June #volunteersweek #CFRtakeover

For more information, visit www.eastamb.nhs.uk

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Guest blog: There is a lot of satisfaction in helping people

Mike Poulton, a member of Wroxham and Hoveton CFRs, has volunteered for the last five years…

 

michael poulton.jpgOne day my wife noticed a CFR visiting one of our neighbours and she said “you could that”. It was as simple as that, so I contacted the local co-ordinator and the rest is history.

Normally I am on call for an average of just over 100 hours a month and I have attended over 400 calls, in addition I help with the training of new responders.

During the five years there have been many highlights, and a few low points, but if I had to choose one it would be the four year old girl who had dislocated her elbow at school.  I could do nothing about the pain except distract her and after finding her favourite book and asking her questions about it as we went through the pages together her distress gradually changed to smiles.

The main challenge is often finding the patient in the first place. In some areas where houses have no numbers, only names, it is difficult enough during daylight but at night it is almost impossible. Also holiday makers on boats often don’t realise that Hoveton exists, to them it’s all Wroxham and on a number of occasions we have arrived at moorings in Wroxham when in reality they on the other side of the river.

But for all that I would tell anyone thinking of becoming a first responder there is a lot of satisfaction in helping people and I don’t just mean the patient. Your presence before the backup arrives often helps the family.

The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) will be posting a blog from a CFR every day during national volunteers’ week, which runs until 12th June #volunteersweek #CFRtakeover

For more information, visit www.eastamb.nhs.uk

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Guest blog: Being a CFR has taught me that not every patient will present the same

 

Danny Ayling, is a group co-ordinator for Holland/Clacton CFRs in Essex….

Danny Ayling resized

I have been a CFR for three years, in the last year I have become a student paramedic so I try to do as many as I can, around 5+ hours a week.

A career in pre-hospital care was always a job I wanted. I became a CFR in the local area to provide immediate care until the arrival of an ambulance crew.

Being a CFR has taught me that not every patient will present the same and how to deal with difficult situations that caused me to think outside the box.

In the two years prior to starting my course I had seen 100+ patients some who had fallen to those who had a cardiac arrest and required CPR and defibrillation. I was able to take my knowledge, skills and understanding to university and build upon those.

I have had many highlights. As a team we were able to place a community public access defibrillator at a local store. Working within a team to provide the best care to patients who have suffered a cardiac arrest, being able to pass my knowledge on to fellow responders in the group, and setting up Heartstart courses to local people have been other highlights.

I have found trying to recruit new volunteers challenging as well as providing the maximum time we can cover in the area.

For volunteering as little as five hours a week you are providing an extra resource in your area for those time critical patients. In those five hours you could help make the difference between a life lost and a life saved.

The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) will be posting a blog from a CFR every day during national volunteers’ week, which runs until 12th June #volunteersweek #CFRtakeover

For more information, visit www.eastamb.nhs.uk

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