Rainford Community First Responders are volunteer members from within their community who act in support of the North West Ambulance Service by providing a time critical response to patients within their local areas. They are appropriately trained to nationally agreed standards for competency, and respond quickly through the 999 system, to certain life threatening medical emergencies. They are trained to deliver basic life support and defibrillation to patients in cardiac arrest, and also attend a range of other emergencies, such as respiratory arrests, breathing problems, allergic reactions, diabetic emergencies, strokes, fitting and convulsions, abdominal and chest pains, heart attacks, severe haemorrhages and other unconscious patients, where they can deliver first aid and oxygen therapy to the patient, and treat conditions, which if left untreated could deteriorate rapidly, and subsequently lead onto a cardiac arrest.
Statistics have shown that in cases of a cardiac arrest, early delivery of basic life support and use of a defibrillator, can dramatically improve the pre-hospital survival rate. If an equipped First Responder is already in attendance when a cardiac arrest takes place, that survival rate has the potential to rise even more so.
In November, 2008 Rainford’s own group of First Responders became operational, and the area is now covered from 8am until midnight most days of the week by a dedicated team of volunteers, the majority of whom have other full time occupations. Their presence has, quite literally, saved several lives.
The area covered by the group encompasses Rainford, Crawford, Crank and Kings Moss, and is bounded by the A580 East Lancashire Road, M58 and the Kirkby, Billinge and Upholland boundaries. Within the area reside a population of approximately 10,000. When a 999 call is made by a resident, providing that the emergency is of a type that a First Responder is trained to deal with, central ambulance control notifies the on-call members of the group and the ambulance crew simultaneously. Usually it is the local First Responder who arrives first at the scene, and provides that essential care in those first critical minutes of the emergency.