September 7, 2011
First on the scene – save lives
Find yourself in trouble at sea and the RNLI will be on hand to launch a rescue. Wholly funded by donations and dependent on its 4,500 volunteer crew members, the RNLI is a remarkable charity. Find yourself in a serious accident on land and it’ll be the hi-tech medical services of the NHS that swing into action. But in one part of Fife, a community initiative is aiming to take a leaf out of RNLI’s book in a bid to enhance this service
Sunday 28 August 2011
A NEW emergency response service could prove a true lifesaver for residents in Kinghorn, Burntisland and Aberdour. Community First Responder Service is currently looking for volunteers to take part in the programme which is already operating effectively in other areas of Scotland.
They will be trained to attend emergency calls received by the ambulance service and provide care and treatment until paramedics arrives. Because they are sent out to calls in their own areas, volunteers can be first on the scene – and that can often prove vital in saving lives.
The scheme will operate as a community partnership between Burntisland First Aid Services Trust – a charity which provides first aid cover at sporting and other events and runs first aid courses for members of the public – and the Scottish Ambulance Service.
Volunteers will take part in a rota system from their own home or place of work, and are called out at the same time as an ambulance to attend Category A or “immediately life–threatening” calls.
Alex MacDonald, chairman of Burntisland First Aid Services Trust, said: “The key skills are already held by local volunteers. But, their time is already stretched by attending weekend and evening events throughout Fife, so extra training is available for any new people who want to sign up.
“The aim is to ensure that in life-threatening emergencies a qualified person can be on the scene and able to give help even before the ambulance crew arrive. It gains a few precious minutes at the time when they matter most.
“The members of Burntisland First Aid Services Trust are trained to the required standard and some have already said they are keen to join. The training required is the same as what we already offer, so anyone interested can join our regular course, which starts on Wednesday evenings at the end of September. Alternatively, they may be able to attend separate training purely for the Community First Responder Scheme. Once we have a definitive list of volunteers it will take about two months to set up .’’