We are delighted to announce that one of our Hampshire Community First Responder Schemes has been honoured with the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. Bishop's Waltham Community First Responders are now the proud recipients of the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
Community First Responders (CFRs) are trained by South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) to respond to emergencies in their local communities. Their equipment, uniform and training is funded through voluntary donations to our Charity.
Bishop's Waltham CFR scheme has been together for 17 years and serves a population of around 15,000 in the South of Hampshire. Volunteers come from all walks of like, sometimes without any prior first aid experience or training. They are fully trained and equipped to respond to some of the most time urgent emergencies such as cardiac arrest, stroke, breathing difficulties and heart attack.
Scheme Coordinator Andrew Brown said "It is a fantastic honour to receive such a high-level award and know that what we do is recognised and appreciated."
During 2019-20 Bishop's Waltham CFRs were sent to 672 emergencies arriving before the first ambulance response on 594 occasions. Eight of these emergencies were cardiac arrests and many other incidents where the early intervention by our CFRs made a critical difference to the patient.
SCAS has over 650 Community First Responders and 200 Co Responders across their area. Managed by the Community Engagement and Training Team they are highly trained to deal with a wide range of emergencies as well as supporting vulnerable and elderly people in their community for concerns for welfare and non-injury falls for patients.
Head of Operations, Nic Dunbar commented "This is the fourth of our Community First Responder schemes to achieve this prestigious award and we are extremely proud and delighted for them. All our volunteers are incredibly important to us at SCAS and we would particularly like to take this opportunity during Volunteers' Week to thank them for everything they do".