East Kent Provincial 2013 News

Help for the Weald

The Freemasons of East Kent helping those in the Weald of Kent who save lives, to save lives.

Egerton is a small community tucked into the Weald of Kent. It is fairly remote from main services, including the Fire and Rescue services. It can take some time for an ambulance to reach the village in the event of an emergency, so residents have taken responsibility upon themselves to help. Stratton Richey, along with the Community First Response Team of South East Ambulance Service, has set a new team of volunteers in place. Each has been trained by SECAmb as Community First Responders (CFRs). However there is a cost for the kit, which includes defibrillators, burns kits, oxygen and a robust bag to carry it all.

The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Roger Odd, heard about this scheme and suggested applying to the Provincial Grand Master’s fund. A grant was forthcoming and this month the team became active.

WBro Stratton Richey (PAGSwdB, MetGChStwd), seen here about to deliver some of the kit, said: ‘without the help of the Province we would not have been able to start this scheme in time for the winter months. It is very important that communities take responsibility for helping themselves and fellow Freemasons have helped us do precisely that. There is no question lives will be saved and others helped, thank you’.

More on the Community First Response Teams.

Community First Responders are volunteer members of the community who are trained to respond to emergency calls through the 999 system in conjunction with their local Ambulance Service.

Community responders are not a substitute for the ambulance crews, but because they are based within the community in which they live or work, they are able to attend the scene of an emergency in a very short time often within the first few minutes and in the majority of incidents they would be first on scene. The responder can then begin vital life-saving first aid before the arrival of an ambulance, further increasing the patient’s chance of survival.

Why do we use Community First Responders?

The primary role of a Community First Responder (CFR) is to provide life-saving emergency treatment in their local area. To prevent deterioration, promote recovery, preserve life.

Each day, approximately 170 people in the UK suffer a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). Early defibrillation within the first few minutes can save up to 75% of all SCA’s

In addition, CFRs carry other medical equipment including dressings, oxygen and some drugs. This further benefits patients whilst waiting for an ambulance.

Whilst South East Coast Ambulance Service performs very well, it is recognised that there are some communities that are extremely difficult to reach.  Even if it were possible to significantly increase our ambulance resources, it would still not be able to deliver the speed of response necessary to get to some patients with life-threatening conditions.  This is where the role of the community first responder is vital.

Egerton CFRs thank the Freemasons of the Province of East Kent for this vital donation.