Volunteers across the region are giving up 40,000 hours of their time each month to help their neighbours.
Community first responders (CFRs) were dispatched to 22,493 emergency calls by the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) in 2013.
There are now around 1,200 CFRs and 270 groups operating across the region responding to a variety of incidents. This includs 662 cardiac arrests last year, where patients have fallen unconscious and their heart has stopped pumping blood around their body.
Last year saw a number of public access defibrillators installed in the region as a joint campaign was setup by co-operative society and EEAST. Defibrillators are lifesaving devices that can restart a patient’s heart and many have been made available in public areas for anyone to use in an emergency. There are now 171 public access defibrillators in the east of England and CFRs have been demonstrating their use and working closely with communities to raise awareness of the use of first aid.
Regional Community Partnership Manager for EEAST, Lorna Hayes said: “I am very proud to have our CFRs out there helping the ambulance service. They work extremely hard and make a massive contribution to their communities.
“We always need more help and you can make it your New Year’s resolution to join us and gain the skills to give something back to your local area.”
For more information about community first responders visit http://www.eastamb.nhs.uk/get-involved/community-first-responders.htm
You can also contact EEAST directly on 01954 712400 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Highlights of 2013 in pictures are available on the EEAST Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/eastofenglandambulance/