Wendy takes a partnership role for Essex

Monday, 15 November, 2010

The East of England Ambulance Service community partnership managers have welcomed a new member to the team.

Following John Hopkins' retirement, paramedic Wendy Risdale-Barrs was taken on board and has been busy acquainting herself with community first responder groups and colleagues, and getting to grips with the various aims and day-to-day business of which the role entails.

She began her career in the ambulance service as an Ipswich student ambulance technician in 2003, before transferring as an ambulance technician to Stowmarket. About three years ago, she progressed to paramedic level and during this time provided clinical links to Suffolk CFR groups, as well as being an assessor and instructor.

In 2009, Wendy was seconded to the CRDO post in Suffolk, working alongside the British Heart Foundation and Heart Start within communities and schools to promote basic life-saving skills. A secondment to the CPM role in Suffolk also gave her a taste of CFR and community management.

Wendy said: "I've been spending the past few weeks doing a lot more learning and meeting as many people as possible to help build the foundations of my role. "My main aims are to: promote Heart Start within Essex; promote and improve the profile of the CFR role; support all EZulu and enhance training; and work with other agencies. "Essentially though I want to make sure we take Essex in the right direction from a community partnership perspective, with the biggest emphasis on team work."

Paul Leaman, associate director - operational partnerships, welcomed Wendy to the team: "Wendy was selected to undergo a six month secondment in this role and I am grateful that Peter Blackman was on the recruitment panel with me to assist with the process. "I am confident Wendy will continue to develop this role in Essex as CFRs are a vital part of the ambulance service response in delivering a speedy, high quality trained response to seriously ill patients in their communities."

Wendy is married and has a baby daughter. She has been a member of the Red Cross and in her spare time enjoys horse riding, and owns two horses

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