As you read this there’s a team of trained “first responders” ready to dash out from homes or work to try to save your life if you have a cardiac arrest - a heart attack. And the four members in the team in Dover are all unpaid volunteers who even pay their own car expenses to speedily get to you.
One of the team is former fireman Stephen Bailey who was the guest of Dover Rotary Club in February when he explained how the Community First Responders initiative worked. The co-responders, using life-saving defibrillator equipment, work on the heart attack patient until the NHS ambulance arrives. The ambulance might have been miles away when the 999 call for help was made.
Stephen, a former Astor School student, told how volunteers in the team must have access to a car and be able to respond immediately to a call for help. Why does he take on the responsibility? He says: “There’s no greater pleasure than saving the life of a member of one’s own community.”
Stephen and his colleagues would like to increase their Dover team numbers from four to 10. If you’re interested in getting trained, contact Kent.CFR@secamb.nhs.uk