Southwold/Reydon: Response group seeking lifesaving additions to team

Members of the public are invited to have a go at life saving skills. Aldeburgh once again has its o

Members of the public are invited to have a go at life saving skills. Aldeburgh once again has its onw Community First Responder scheme, launching with a "Save a Life day" at the Baptist Church in Aldeburgh. Left to right, Jason Shaw and Alison Cherry. - Credit: Archant

An emergency response group has appealed for extra members to help them provide a potentially life-saving service.

Southwold and Reydon Community First Responders (CFRs) currently only has four members to cover the area, which has a population of about 3,000 people, and are desperately looking for more, having made an appeal on Streetlife.

Local co-ordinator David Austin said: “Clearly the main problem is we would like to offer a 24 hour service, seven days a week.

“It’s not possible to do that at the moment because there’s not enough of us.

“Sometimes there are problems where ideally we’d need two people, like when someone suffers cardiac arrest. There are people out on the street who may suffer one at any time, and we’re the people who can get there in the vital eight minutes.”

All four members live locally, and Mr Austin added although there is the odd callout to another area, 99% of the calls are local, and said: “We are always there first.

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“We get in to stabilise the patients and support life.

“We’re there to promote wellbeing, and keep them alive until the ambulance crew arrive.”

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Six months ago, there were seven CFRs. Mr Austin said: “People retire, move away and may have their own health problems which can stop them. It’s about trying to get numbers up.

“There’s no doubt that we can save lives. People need help sometimes and if we’re not about they are going to be in a worse condition.

“If we’re not around we can’t help them.

“You don’t need to have specialist skills at all to be a CFR. You learn it all from the paramedics. People need to be able to drive and have access to a car.”

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