First responders begin their lifesaving duties in Aberystwyth

Monday, 28 April, 2014

Brian Pullen (top left), Tim Pearce (top right) and Stephen Roberts (bottom left) with the new first responders including (top row, second from left) Gerallt Jones, Sam Wallis, Gareth Evans, Adam Heywood, and (bottom row, second from left) Steve Fletcher

NEW Community First Responders have begun their lifesaving duties in Ceredigion.

The six-strong team are employees of the Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales, and work from the Welsh Government building in Aberystwyth.

First responders are volunteers who give up their spare time to attend appropriate 999 calls and give first hand emergency care to people in their own community.

First responders do not replace the normal response of a paramedic in a rapid response car or an emergency ambulance, but support the patient until they arrive.

The volunteers have been trained by the Welsh Ambulance Service to administer basic first aid, oxygen therapy, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of a defibrillator, and will respond to emergency calls within a three-mile radius of their workplace.

Team co-ordinator Sam Wallis, who is a Strategic Projects Officer working on the First World War Centenary Commemorations at the Welsh Government, said: “We wanted to help our local community and becoming first responders seemed a good way to do this.

“We were provided with excellent training and support, both from the Welsh Ambulance Service and our employers. Our team is proud to serve the local community and we are ready to help people in need.”

The team was formed after they discovered their colleagues at the Welsh Government offices in Llandudno Junction and Llandrindod Wells had also set up first responder schemes.

Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales have provided the team with the lifesaving kit, training time and the flexibility to attend call outs, while the RNLI offered up Aberystwyth Lifeboat Station as a training venue.

Last week, the new recruits were given supplementary training from Stephen Roberts, Regional First Responder Officer at the Welsh Ambulance Service, who was supported by Tim Pearce, Clinical Support Officer for Hywel Dda and North Powys and Brian Pullen, Locality Manager for Ceredigion.

Stephen said: “Every second counts when you are trying to save someone’s life, and Community First Responder schemes are hugely beneficial in helping the ambulance service provide the best possible pre-hospital care for patients.

“Many of our volunteers have taken experiences that life has thrown at them, such as seeing a loved one suffer a heart attack, and have moulded them into a positive outlook to help family, friends and neighbours.

“You can make a big difference by just carrying out a few simple skills that we can teach you. If you are proud of the community in which you live, becoming a first responder can really help the heart of your village or town keeping beating long into the future.”

Community First Responders play an important role alongside frontline ambulance staff in making sure patients get appropriate help quickly and efficiently, explained Chief Executive at the Welsh Ambulance Service, Elwyn Price-Morris.

“Community First Responders are a key partner in the chain of survival and very much part of the whole Welsh Ambulance Service family,” he added.

Visit for more information on becoming a Community First Responder.

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