First responders team goes live

The North Mainland group of First Responders, set up to complement the existing ambulance service, has gone live this week.

Volunteer medics were recruited to the scheme in January and 10 people passed their training.

The responders will be dispatched by the ambulance service at the same time as the ambulance when a 999 call is received. They have been provided with a Ford Focus van equipped with oxygen and defibrillator, and each responder has workwear, including a high-visibility jacket.

They are trained to manage, but not treat, a casualty and are not allowed to transport them. However, their work is considered an important addition to the emergency services as they can start CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) in the vital first minutes before the ambulance arrives.

Community resuscitation officer with the Scottish Ambulance Service Alan Knox confirmed the scheme was now going live after a series of delays due to problems with pagers and mobile phones, although there had been no call-outs as yet.

He said: “They [the First Responders] are doing really well. More are being trained for the north.”

A training scheme for the South Mainland was now being worked out, Mr Knox added.


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