Guest blog: Being a CFR fuelled my passion to become a paramedic

Sam Guy, a community first responder (CFR) for the Cambourne area of Cambridgeshire, talks about why he volunteers…

Sam Guyresized

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

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Guest Blog: Why I volunteer for the Trust User Group

By Hugh Kingwell

Hugh Kingwellresized

I am 77-years-old and I have been a diabetic since June 2002.  I had a heart attack in June 2014 and two attacks of DVT and currently I have an aortic aneurysm which is waiting to be dealt with.

Some 12 years ago when I was active in local amateur dramatics, a fellow actor asked me if I would like to join a very worthwhile organisation that helped people who had been injured in some way.  I said ‘yes, possibly, tell me more?’.  It emerged that this was the TUG (Trust User Group), a body of volunteers that kept a beady eye on how the ambulance service actually went about its business and the various patient pathways that existed to ensure that the patient always received the correct and most appropriate treatment.

I said ‘yes’ and joined the organisation and attended the first meeting where I was warmly welcomed. Being a diabetic myself I was very interested to see and understand how diabetics were treated, so I made various inquiries, was shown the equipment and had the recovery pathway explained to me. It was immediately apparent that no ‘follow-up’ leaflet was available to give to patients, so I wrote the leaflet which was then printed and carried on the ambulances.

The TUG is active in the fields of patient follow-up interviews, ambulance ambassador roles, station audits, and patient pathways. We currently have projects concerning mental health, care homes and trips and falls, the impact of inappropriate discharge from hospitals. We are also involved with the complaints process and case review panels to name but a few from our Locality Work Plan.

The full TUG meets every three months for what is normally a full day and we have locality meetings regularly, plus sometimes, special project meetings.

Belonging to the TUG is extremely worthwhile , fascinating, challenging and our projects make a real difference to the patients carried on our ambulances. Also the whole of the UK health programme is constantly evolving which in itself carries ever changing challenges.

If you would like to be involved, why not come along to one of our meetings, you would be really welcome and see for yourself exactly what we get up to.

For more information contact Sotu Marshall-Wyer, Patient and Public Involvement Manager by emailing

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

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Guest blog: Life in the fast lane as a CCP

Emergency care has captured the interest of millions as Sky 1’s Air Ambulance ER went behind the scenes to follow the work of Britain’s air ambulance services.

The fly-on-the-wall documentary, the next of which airs tonight (Monday, 18th April) at 9pm, has captured all the on-duty action – including one of our very own Critical Care Paramedic Carl Smith. As well as being a manager here at the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Carl responds for us as a critical care paramedic (CCP) with the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

Carl writes about the filming, and life in the fast lane as a CCP… Continue reading

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Guest blog: Dan Phillips talks about stroke

Dan Philips Area Clinical Lead

Dan Phillips, EEAST Area Clinical Lead, talks about the importance of getting help to stroke patients quickly. Continue reading

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Jo Lambert talks about the role of the critical care desk

Jo Lambert

What happens and what are the main functions of CCD?

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Guest blog – Student Paramedic Conference 2015

Earlier this month, some of the Trust’s staff attended the Student Paramedic Conference 2015, an event designed specifically for student paramedics. Area Clinical Lead Ash Richardson attended as a Gold Sponsor and in this blog, relays how the day went. Continue reading

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Guest blog: Road safety

Louise Rosson has been a registered paramedic for eight years with the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST). Not only is she now a critical care paramedic (CCP) and air operations supervisor working for Essex and Herts Air Ambulance charity, but she volunteers her time responding for Suffolk Accident Rescue Service (SARS) in her community. Continue reading

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