Five new Community First Response (CFR) cars will be ‘hitting the streets’ across the region as part of an initiative being launched by East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS).
On Friday 18 October, CFR scheme coordinators from Beeston & District and Mansfield (Nottinghamshire), Matlock (Derbyshire) Castle Donnington (Leicestershire) and South Northamptonshire will take delivery of the cars at a handover event.
CFR volunteers play a vital role in saving lives. They attend life-threatening 999 calls in their local area and, by being so close, are able to arrive within minutes of the call for help being made. This means patients can be treated whilst frontline paramedics travel to the scene.
Michael Barnett-Connolly, Head of Community Response at EMAS, said: “The investment demonstrates a firm commitment to our CFR schemes and shows the hard work of our volunteers is highly valued. The vehicles will allow volunteers to travel to incidents in a marked and fully equipped car.
“Currently, responders use their own vehicles to attend calls and have to transfer the equipment to a fellow volunteer when their time ‘oncall’ is at an end. This will make the transfer process faster and simpler.”
“The cars have high-viz markings to give our volunteers a much higher profile – as charity organisations the schemes are grateful of support from local people and businesses. Members of the community won’t fail to see our responders out and about doing their great work.”
The cars are all Skoda Fabia’s and in addition to the medical kit that’s carried, they’ve been fitted with new communications equipment such as a two-way radio, telephone, hands-free kit and satellite navigation system. These will all streamline the response process leading to vital seconds being shaved off the time taken to respond to life-threatening incidents.
Steve Farnsworth, Head of Fleet Services at EMAS, said: “The vehicles we’ve selected are reliable, economical and have low carbon emissions. They’re ideally suited to the job and I’m sure the volunteers who use them will appreciate the investment we’ve made.”
Michael Barnett-Connolly added, “We’ll be monitoring the success of this new approach over the coming months with a view to introducing 10 more cars in 2014 /2015.”