Meet the vital Milngavie volunteers dedicated to saving lives

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A group of volunteers in East Dunbartonshire who provide vital support to Scottish Ambulance Service crews mark a milestone this month.

The Milngavie Community First Responders celebrated their 10th anniversary and one of their founding members Andy Boyd was awarded his 10-year service badge.

The group meets on a Tuesday night every four weeks at the local Waitrose community room to carry out regular training.

They are on the lookout for new volunteers who would like to help.

With ever-increasing pressures on the NHS emergency services, the work of the first responders has never been more important.

Since setting up a decade ago, they have been called out to more than 550 incidents, racking up over 9,000 voluntary hours.

Community First Responder (CFR) schemes operate across the country, providing an invaluable service to local communities.

They support Scottish Ambulance Service crews on a range of call outs, including cardiac arrests, and are invaluable in the chain of survival.

Since the ambulance service launched its CFR initiative more than 15 years ago, over 160 schemes have been set up across Scotland.

The Ambulance Service trains the Community First Responders in basic first aid and life saving skills and provides the appropriate medical equipment so that they can deliver an early response to patients while the ambulance is on its way.

The responders are deployed to appropriate calls by the ambulance service’s Ambulance Control Centre.

Andy Boyd, Milngavie Community First Responders Co-ordinator, said: “As Community First Responders, we respond to 999 calls for the ambulance service. We are fully equipped with kits as well as a defibrillator and oxygen.”

The scheme currently has 10 fully qualified responders who have undergone training over a four-day period.

They cover Bearsden, Milngavie and outlying 
areas including parts of Faifley, Knightswood and Drumchapel.

The group chair John Lightbody added: “We are always going to be recruiting so if you feel this is something you would like to be part of please get in touch.”

Anne Harrison, West Region Community Resilience Team Leader for the Scottish Ambulance Service, said: “Speed of intervention can often be critical when responding to 999 calls.

“The Community First Responder initiative creates an even faster response for patients and is co-ordinated with our existing ambulance resources. In a medical emergency it is often the simple first aid skills, like making sure an airway is clear, that save a life.”

To find out more information about the Milngavie Community First Responders contact them a info@milngaviecfr.co.uk or through their website milngaviecfr.co.uk.