Brightlingsea First Responders are volunteers from the community
who are trained by the East of England Ambulance Service in
basic life support including oxygen therapy and the use of a
defibrillator. We provide the ambulance service with an
immediate local response in cases where minutes can save lives –
people with chest pains, breathing difficulties, choking or
unconsciousness. In these instances the Emergency Operations
Centre calls us (on a dedicated mobile phone) at the same time
as they are despatching their emergency vehicle(s). Coupled
with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) we can use our
defibrillator to restart someone’s heart. Once the ambulance
crew arrives the First Responder hands the patient over,
although there are times when the crew asks us to continue our
treatment jointly with them.
We average a four-minute response time,
including when we’re called in the middle of the night, and are
currently attending around 3 incidents a week - we have now
(December 2014) been on over 2,600 life-threatening calls since
forming in May 1997. Early attendance to a ‘chest pain’ call
can prevent a patient’s condition worsening and so halt a full
cardiac arrest. So far seven arrests have been re-started.
oxygen we carry provides a very effective, immediate benefit to
patients. We also feel that we are a source of comfort to
patients and their loved ones during the naturally worrying time
waiting for the professionals to arrive.”
was the first group to be set up in the county, and in fact is
thought to be the first in the country. Our call sign is the
enviable “Echo Zulu One”.
The group currently has 8 members,
including our ambulance service trainer and link manager. We
are all volunteers, using our own vehicles and paying for our
fuel, and aim to provide a 24/7, 365 days a year service. We
have no dispensation to break speed limits or any other
road traffic laws and we do not carry blue lights, flashing
headlights or sirens.
are very grateful for the support of local organisations and
townsfolk who have generously provided, amongst many other
things, the following:
sophisticated adult resuscitation manikin;
manikin for training to treat choking patients;
pulse-oximeter to measure a patient’s oxygen levels in their
blood, and take their pulse;
illuminated rooftop sign and retro-reflective signs for each
the value of donated equipment has exceeded £7,000.
PHOTO FOR 2014
TO FIND OUT MORE, OR TO JOIN US
CALL Jeremy Crawley (Joint Coordinator) 01206 305494
Steve Houston (Joint Coordinator) 01206 305727
Steve Wicks (Treasurer) 01206 308125
Pat Eaton are retiring after 13 years dedicated service.
a lot more about Community First Responders on the East of
England Ambulance Service website:
www.eastamb.nhs.uk and you will also find Brightlingsea
First Responders on Facebook.
Link to the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust:
To find First Responders, click on ‘Services’, then ‘Accident
and Emergency’. There is a link to Community First Responders
near the bottom of the article.