Ambulance service volunteers celebrate 20 years

Date published: 17 October 2019

Marking 20 years of community first responders (CFRs) across the region, North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) held a full day celebration event on Saturday 12 October to say a big thank you for the invaluable service they provide.

NWAS currently has 870 active CFRs across the region, these are members of the public who volunteer for the trust to attend emergencies in their local community.

CFRs don’t need any previous medical experience and are trained to start life-saving intervention in the event of a cardiac arrest as well as other emergency situations.

Possibly being closer to the patient than an ambulance, they can give patients vital extra minutes when every second counts, as well as providing reassurance and assisting ambulance clinicians.

The celebration took place in Kendal and began with an exhibition to give guests the opportunity to learn more about the sponsors for the day. The event was entirely funded by sponsorship from organisations who work within the health sector.

This was followed by a conference where a number of speakers took to the stage to show their appreciation of CFRs and speak about the past, present and future of the volunteer role.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, sent a special thank you message which was played at the conference. He said: “Your actions make all the difference and I want to say a huge thank you not only from me but from the countless lives you save and the people you help.”

In the evening, the room was transformed into a glitzy awards ceremony, hosted by ITV Granada’s Paul Crone, where ‘remarkable responders’ from across the region were recognised for exemplary service.

This was followed by dinner and dancing, with music from Absolutely.

Regional Community Engagement Manager, Andrew Redgrave, said: “Over the past 20 years, our CFRs have undoubtedly saved countless lives and the role has evolved and grown significantly during this time.

“They have supported the ambulance service in training the public in life-saving skills and helped lobby for changes in education which will see children learning basic life support in schools from next year!

“The fact that these people give up their time willingly to help those in need is commendable and we’re really glad to have been able to celebrate them at this fabulous event.”

Sponsors for the event were Sliders UK, Stryker, The Defib Shop, SP Services, Mangar Health, Physio Control, Well Medical and Zoll Public Safety.

To find out more about how to become a CFR, visit:

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