First Responder programme expanded into Brechin

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Brechin has now been included in the latest expansion of a life-saving volunteer project.

The latest intake of the First Responders programme has just completed its training, expanding the range of the scheme to encompass Arbroath, Brechin and Forfar.

First person on scene training was conducted by the Scottish Ambulance Service and will allow them to provide crucial initial treatment to the sick.

Bill Spence, chairman of the Dundee and Angus Branch of St John, which runs the First Responders programme, said: “These volutneers are trained to take calls about incidents where a member of the public has had a heart attack or similar sudden collapse.

“Existing First Responders attended 202 calls up to December 2012 and continue to attend calls regularly to provide CPR, defibrillation and oxygen therapy to the patient until a paramedic team arrives and takes over the treatment and deals with the patient.

“First Responders are active in Carnoustie, Kellas and Kirriemuir and a further group of new volunteers are now taking duty to extend the facility to the North Angus communities around Arbroath, Brechin and Forfar as well as enhancing provision to Carnoustie and Monifieth.”

Volunteers can arrive at an emergency scene in a matter of minutes, as they are sent to calls in their local area.

Volunteers operate as part of a rota system from their own home or place of work and are dispatched at the same time as an ambulance to attend Category A ‘immediately life – threatening’ calls.

In addition, some of the new First Responders are also members of the Angus 4X4 Club and offer their assistance to the emergency services when severe weather requires four wheel drive capability.

For more information on becoming a First responder call the St John Team for Angus and Dundee on 01382 350553 or email volunteer2go@btinternet.com