Life-saving volunteers in Warwickshire praised for dedication - The Leamington Observer

Life-saving volunteers in Warwickshire praised for dedication

VOLUNTEERS in Warwickshire are being thanked for making a difference to the lives of others.

This National Volunteers Week, West Midlands Ambulance Service is paying tribute to those who have given up their time to support their community.

Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust recently recruited 195 new ‘Community First Responders’ (CFRs) who are undertaking training to help them respond to emergency call-outs. Following a mass recruitment drive, the trust has some 375 CFRs willing to volunteer their free time to help frontline staff and patients in life-threatening emergencies.

Others have volunteered to transport patients to and from hospital including renal and oncology patients.

There are external volunteers groups which WMAS also works alongside of, including the British Association for Immediate Care schemes and St John’s Ambulance. Another faction of volunteers, which has proved invaluable during the pandemic year, is the 4×4 response teams, which assisted in getting staff to and from work during the heavy snow. They also helped transport PPE and essential equipment around the region when demand was high.

Trust chief executive Anthony Marsh said: “On behalf of everyone at West Midlands Ambulance Service, I want to firstly thank those of you who have given up your spare time to help the trust.

“Hundreds have stepped forward and continued to assist WMAS during what has been the toughest year for the NHS. From our Community First Responders to the volunteer 4×4 response drivers and PTS volunteers, all of your efforts have been extremely appreciated and have not gone unnoticed. The past 12 months have been extraordinarily challenging, but it has been the strength, dedication and resilience of our volunteers and staff that has ensured we have continued to deliver the best patient care, in the safest possible way. I would also like to pay tribute to the work of our Trust Governors, volunteer medics and volunteer car drivers who have all continued to support us throughout the pandemic.”

4×4 responder Ian Anthill described his volunteering experience: “Us delivery drivers generally had a few cardboard boxes as well as cages with PPE and cleaning materials which we collected from Stores in Aldridge. We also delivered and collected general post to locations visited, and occasionally the life-saving machines the paramedics use called Zolls. These and some of the more important paperwork e.g. ID cards, required a signature from the site boss or deputy. Uniforms were another frequent item for delivery or return.

“All the WMAS staff I encountered were invariably friendly and helpful. One ambulance man noticed my LR hat and we got into a chat – he was on his 13th LR of all varieties – a real enthusiast. He was very appreciative of our 4×4 Response Group and our volunteering efforts.”

Use the hashtag #VolunteersWeek to join in thanking those who volunteer their time.


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