Sharon Smith is the co-ordinator of Newgate Street CFRs, in Hertfordshire….
I became a CFR in December 2014 and I average 75 hours a month and attend on average one patient a week. It’s not a big time commitment.
I live in a remote village a long distance from hospitals and I wanted to be able to help in a local emergency.
I’ve met some amazing patients and their families. I have received some lovely feedback either personally or through villagers about how my presence calmed during a very stressful time. You get a real sense of achievement that you’re making a difference when people are at their most vulnerable.
Of course not every patient interface ends with happy news. I have attended cardiac arrests and despite best effort not every patient can be saved. It’s inherent with the role when you are dealing with the most life critical patients.
Being a CFR has given me a real sense of achievement in helping people in my community at a very stressful moment in their lives.
Most patients I visit are within 3-4 miles of where I live so I can get there really fast. An ambulance is always on its way to back me up.
It’s a wonderful role. Training is comprehensive so you don’t need any medical background. Give it a go. It’s worthwhile and it’s helping your community.
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