South Western Ambulance Charity

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Registered address
c/o SWASFT,Abbey Court
Eagle Way,Exeter, Devon

0300 3690108

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Supporting our volunteer heroes

Community First Responders

Community First Responders operate within the communities in which they live or work, often providing lifesaving emergency aid early and ahead of ambulance arrival.

Trained and governed by the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, the Community First Responders  are called on any time, day or night, helping to reach those patients most in need across the 10,000 square miles the ambulance service serves. 

Attending more than 20,000 incidents each year, their contribution really does save lives, reduce pain and provide reassurance to those requiring emergency care.

Community First Responders are dispatched to incidents where every second counts, for example when someone isn’t breathing, chest pains, unconscious patients or fitting, and administer basic life support until an ambulance arrives.

There are more than 450 Community First Responder groups across the South West with over 6,000 volunteers providing critical support, predominantly within remote/rural locations.

The South Western Ambulance Service is the most rural trust in England, making the contribution of our Community First Responders all the more valuable.

A big thank you to the two Community First Responders on scene [for a cardiac arrest] because without that initial response we wouldn’t be able to do all the additional interventions without the key initial steps being initiated early.  We rely on you guys a lot so thank you again.

£35 buys a Tympanic Thermometer.  As part of the critical initial observations, a Tympanic Thermometer can be used as an early warning sign for underlying medical conditions such as sepsis or meningitis.

£50 buys an automatic blood pressure monitor and cuffs. As part of the critical initial observations, an automatic blood pressure monitor is more resilient and robust compared to manual monitoring.  Recordings can be scheduled to ensure regular monitoring.

£350 buys a pulse oximeter.  As part of the critical initial observations, a pulse oximeter measures oxygen levels in the blood as well as pulse.  Monitoring is continuous to ensure that any changes in pulse or oxygen levels are highlighted immediately for appropriate action.

In time-critical, life-threatening emergency situations, every second counts.

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