Review of 2020

 

The Cinderella of the Emergency Services

Record year for Stalham Ambulance First Responders

Review of 2020.

2020 has been a challenging time for everyone. During the year up to seven Responders in our team were shielding, mainly due to family members being in the 'at risk' category. However, the group still managed to volunteer for an extraordinary 11,751 operational hours, an increase on last years record. What a fantastic achievement! Our volunteer First Responders have still managed to arrive on scene within a few minutes of 999 calls. The time for an Ambulance to arrive after our Responder, averaged 23 minutes, although the longest waiting time after our arrival was more than two hours.

The group was up-skilled by the East of England Ambulance Service at the end of 2019 to attend Falls incidents and with funds raised then we now have eight Raizer 2, lifting chairs in operation. Under normal circumstances, an elderly patient who has had a fall and may be laying outside in the rain, would be treated as a low priority with an ambulance taking up to six hours to attend. Now we have equipped our Responders with Raizers, the patient can be back indoors and treated within 20 minutes.

In 2020 due to the strain on ambulance resources, fire-fighters and army personnel were brought in to drive ambulances. However unlike fire-fighters or army personnel,our Responders have also been further clinically up-skilled enabling them to drive front-line ambulances, as well as treating patients. Responders are the only group able to do this. On the converse they are also the only ones to receive no expenses for uniform, meals or travel costs.

We have continued to offer help outside our normal geographical area of operation when no other ambulance assets or First Responders are available. This takes us as far as Cromer, Gt. Yarmouth and Norwich. Since the summer we have also been crewing a dedicated on loan Response vehicle based in our group and equipped with the latest communication system. This has proved the worth of having these dedicated vehicles rather than having to rely on our own private cars.

2020 marked 15 years since the group was established. In that time our volunteers have notched up over 75,000 operational hours and treated thousands of patients.

To mark this milestone, in 2019 we embarked on a project to equip the group with five multi-purpose Response vehicles by the end of 2020. We successfully raised a large amount of the funding needed before the Covid 19 pandemic and were within 30,000 of our target to complete the project. In normal times we would be able to access grants for the remainder and also to benefit from the funds raised by our volunteer Events First Aid team - Broadland First Aiders.

Unfortunately all community events have been cancelled, and the resulting income Broadland First Aiders would have brought in for us reduced to nothing. This and the resulting loss in matched grant funding has reduced the finance for the project by around 25,000.

We also miss meeting the public at events and providing life-saving training - especially to young people.

More volunteers are coming forward to be trained as First Responders. You may also like to be trained to join our First Aid events team - Broadland First Aiders - to help us financially.

If you are interested, in making a donation, please message us via Facebook, or email: timothythirst@aol.com

Thank you to all the individuals, groups and grant funding organisations who have helped us in the past.

We receive no funding from the Ambulance Service, NHS or NHS Charities.

 

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