Field First Responders (from left) Derek Smith, team leader; Faith Lee, associate trainer and responder; and Helen Fairs, responder

500 ambulance 999 calls in a year for Uckfield Community First Responders

Uckfield’s Community First Responders (CFRs) were sent to more than 500 ambulance 999 calls in and around the town during the past year.

Community responders are volunteers, trained by South East Coast Ambulance Service, who assist with answering 999 calls, often arriving before the ambulance itself and providing vital first at scene care.

First at the scene after emergency call

They also assist ambulance crews at more serious incidents, including 20 cardiac arrests.

Statistics show that the team of eight booked on for more than 5,000 hours in the last 12 months, answered over 500 calls and were first at scene for 400 of them.

The group is currently recruiting additional responders to enable it to provide comprehensive cover.

More responders needed

The town’s busiest responder, Faith Lee, told “At present all the town responders live south of the railway and the recent six-month High Street northbound closure showed it was essential to have responders living in all areas of the town who could reach people within eight minutes of a 999 call.”

They are particularly keen to recruit additional members living in the north of the town.

More than 30,000 people suffer cardiac arrests outside hospital in the UK every year.

If this happens in front of a bystander, who starts CPR immediately before the arrival of the ambulance, the patient’s chances of survival double.

Restart a Heart Day – free training

Linking with the Resuscitation Council’s European Restart a Heart Day and the British Heart Foundation, Uckfield’s community first responders will be running a series of free CPR and use of AED sessions during the week October 12-18 October.

They hope schools will take up the opportunity as well as community groups and residents. If anyone would like to organise a session all they need to do is provide is a free of charge venue.

Contact Faith Lee, 07540 535997 or email for further details.

Responders needed in Uckfield area villages

*The minimum age to be a CFR is 18 and applicants must have a full driving licence and a car.

Responders are also needed in Buxted, Hadlow Down, Maresfield, Fletching, Five Ash Down, Little Horsted and Blackboys.

For more details contact team leader Derek Smith,

See also:

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