A group of medically trained volunteers that save lives in Shropshire have kick-started a major fundraising drive to purchase a new response vehicle.
The Albrighton & Cosford Community First Responders, which have been operating since 2004, are looking to local individuals, community groups and businesses to back an appeal that could help them deliver more lifesaving treatment at the scene.
They have already secured over £4000 towards the final target of £25,000, which will cover the purchase of a 4×4 vehicle (ideal for accessing farmland and country roads), navigation and communication systems and essential first aid equipment.
Dave Fitton, Stuart Morgan-Williams, Phil Kenny, Derek Mattinson and Craig Jones are the five volunteers that not only give up their own time to offer this essential service, but currently also have to operate in their own cars.
“With the Ambulance Service stretched to the max, we can often be the first medical specialist on the scene of an emergency and, in serious cases, this can be the difference between life and death,” explained Craig, who works full-time for the RAF.
“The first few minutes are critical, where even simple medical intervention – performed as soon as possible – can save lives and prevent disability. This is why we want the best possible chance of getting to all locations in our catchment area and need a vehicle that is reliable and able to store all of our equipment.”
He continued: “We’ve worked out we need £25,000, which we appreciate is a lot of money. However, the initial response has been great and we are currently finalising a number of events that will help us hopefully reach our target.”
Albrighton & Cosford Community First Responders carry immediate lifesaving equipment, such as defibrillators and oxygen and are all trained to the recently launched Ambulance Service Community First Response national qualification.
This means they can carry out CPR, stop blood loss and help with breathing issues, as well as dealing with falls, sprains and potential broken bones.
The current response area is primarily Albrighton and Cosford, although they do also cover the local hamlets of Badger, Beckbury, Ryton and Tong.
Dave Fitton, Chairman, continued: “So far we have received kind donations from previous patients, their families, the Albrighton Traders Association, the RAF and our two local councils. This has taken us past the £4000 mark, but there’s a long way to go and we need the community to really get behind us.
“We have attended a number of village events to raise our profile, including the Christmas Extravaganza and are currently planning a special Spring Ball at the Red House on April 28th and a general knowledge quiz at the Platform Ale House. All other fundraising ideas are welcome too!”
He concluded: “Local employers can also get involved by sponsoring the car or by choosing us as their charity of the year. There are even some limited opportunities to have branding on the response vehicle when we purchase it.”
The Albrighton & Cosford Community First Responders are always looking for committed individuals to join their ranks and to extend the hours they can offer a service. Recruitment is run by the West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) and full training is provided.
For individuals or companies looking to back the appeal, please contact Dave Fitton on 07450 658078/Craig Jones on 07450 491148 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The JustGiving page is https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/cfralbrighton