Sam Guy, a community first responder (CFR) for the Cambourne area of Cambridgeshire, talks about why he volunteers…
I currently work as a 999 call handler at the ambulance service’s Bedford emergency operations centre (EOC) dealing with potentially life-threatening calls and giving life-saving instructions to the public before the ambulance crew arrive and take over. Thanks to the CFR programme and the experience I have gained, I have recently been offered a new position as an ambulance practitioner for the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) which I’m very excited about.
I am a fairly new responder and have been doing it for around four months due to my work pattern I usually sign myself on as soon as I’ve finished a 12 hour shift for a few hours or during my stand down period. On average, I volunteer around 300 hours a month. Ever since leaving school I have always wanted to become a paramedic. Unfortunately, I was turned down due to limited driving experience.
It wasn’t until I joined the ambulance service as a call handler that I found out about the CFR role and instantly became interested. Being a CFR has fuelled my passion to become a paramedic and has given me valuable experiences and more confidence to be able to engage with patients and present them with the best quality of care and customer experience.
My highlight of being a CFR has definitely been the fact that I’ve been able to make a small difference in people’s lives in that moment of sheer panic during a life changing experience – not only for the patient but also their family and loved ones it’s always a relief to have someone there to help in a time of need and be able to reassure as well as treat the patients and see them improve over a short period of time with the patient.
In this time of ever growing demand on the ambulance the most challenging part is being on scene for long periods of time without back up, making sure you keep the patient stable, while reassuring them and keeping them and the family comfortable.
I believe being a CFR is very important as nine times out of 10 we are always first on scene to any incident and it’s important to give that first initial treatment and care.
For any members of the public who are wanting a career in healthcare or emergency first aid or just have some spare time to give, a community first responder role is very rewarding while also helping those who are critically ill. Being that first person on scene can dramatically make the difference in someone’s life.
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