20,000 hours on call for the university's First Responders
An initiative set up in 2014 thanks to a Cascade grant, the University of Nottingham First Responders is a scheme consisting predominantly of medical students, some of whom continue responding in their F1 year. We volunteer to support East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) in responding to high-level emergency calls, including cardiac arrests, seizures, and paediatric patients. Our scheme is very fortunate to have well trained and committed responders, two response vehicles, and a range of medical equipment, allowing us to make a real difference and save lives in the local community.
So far this academic year, we have committed almost 3,165 volunteer hours and attended over 800 jobs, including 42 cardiac arrests, 165 patients with breathing difficulties, 166 patients with chest pain, 33 patients having a seizure and 67 unconscious patients.
As a result, and despite the challenges of covid-19, we are proud to announce March 2021 is a milestone month in the history of the scheme - during the month we achieved and surpassed an enormous 20,000 volunteered hours and 8,000 job allocations since the scheme began. This has consisted of almost 400 cardiac arrests, nearly 2,600 patients with breathing difficulties or chest pain, over 1,100 unconscious patients, over 350 fitting patients, over 650 falls, and over 200 patients suffering a stroke.
In almost 75% of job allocations we arrive first on scene, and we are extremely proud to have 22 of our responders recognised by EMAS for their role in successfully resuscitating a patient following a cardiac arrest.
After achieving this impressive milestone, we are now looking to the future to not only ensure we continue providing invaluable support to EMAS and quality patient care, but also to further develop the scheme further to improve the skills of our responders, our value as an asset to EMAS, and the subsequent care we provide for patients. As covid-19 restrictions begin to ease, we are keen to be able to arrange more regular training sessions for our responders and this would involve simulated emergency scenarios, requiring effective teamwork, communication and problem solving.
We are very grateful for all the support we have received in sustaining and progressing the scheme to where we are today, to mention just a few individuals and groups: Rob Birkin of EMAS, Jemma Adams of the University of Nottingham Students’ Union, the University of Nottingham School of Medicine, and of course, to everyone who has made a charitable donation to the scheme.
Calum Heslop - Responder Co-ordinator