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firstrespondersinflightCommunity Responder schemes are well established on the Island, and now, thanks to the generosity of a local Island company, a new community responder scheme has started in the Calbourne and Shalfleet area.

Community Responders are members of the public who live in the area where a scheme operates, who then volunteer to be on call in the event of an emergency.

When people fall suddenly ill, they often need immediate care and in some cases that early treatment can be the difference between life and death. The training given includes patient assessment, extended First Aid, oxygen therapy and the management of medical emergencies. Much of the training has also been on the use of automatic defibrillators, which are used to try and restart the heart after a cardiac arrest.

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With the latest evidence showing that these machines are most effective if used within the first 5 minutes after the patient has collapsed. It is clear that the Community Responders across the island play a significant part in improving survival rates for patients suffering a cardiac arrest.

This new scheme however is different in that those trained and volunteering are all staff employed at island business In Flight Peripherals (IFPL) in Elm Lane, Shalfleet. So far, five staff have been trained, including Managing Director Geoff Underwood. They now take turns to be on call between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

Geoff Underwood, Managing Director of IFPL said:

“By signing up to the Community Responder scheme we can do our part to support the local community, and with 40 employees now at IFPL it means we have cover in the event that someone here needs immediate treatment.

“Because we are a business, it means that we are able to be on-call for the Shalfleet & Calbourne area throughout the day. I would really encourage people to become Community Responders because if you can save just one life, it will make it all worthwhile.”

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Ian Yeo, Service Delivery Manager for the Isle of Wight Ambulance Service said:

“We are delighted to be working with IFPL to enhance our levels of cover to Shalfleet and Calbourne, and the surrounding area. Having Community Responders available in the local area will mean that they are very likely to arrive before the ambulance and therefore start treatment earlier. Although an ambulance is always sent at the same time, it is clear that Community Responders will improve the service we provide, ensuring that those patients most in need receive the prompt and efficient treatment they need.”

Since completing training the new 1st Responders have already attended a life threatening call out. The responder was on scene in 3 and half minutes of the call with the Ambulance arriving 11 minutes later. This event has proven without doubt the value to the surrounding community the IFPL team has made so early in their establishment.

Ian continued:

“We are always looking for more volunteers to join this exciting initiative, and so I would ask anyone that has a few hours to spare, to consider giving something very valuable and rewarding back to their local community by becoming a volunteer responder. Schemes currently operate in East Cowes, Bembridge/St Helens, Brighstone/Shorwell, Whitwell/Niton, Godshill, Chillerton/Rookley and central Cowes. We would also like to hear from people in Seaview, Chale, St Lawrence or Wroxall where schemes are planned for the future.”

If you would like to know more please telephone 01983 534111 or email [email protected]

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