In a medical emergency, every second that passes before a patient receives treatment can mean the difference between life and death.
Now a group of medical and healthcare science students at The University of Nottingham has teamed up with the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) to provide emergency care for patients suffering life threatening medical events.
A number of ambulance services across the country rely on community first responders (CFRs) to provide that vital support, dispatching trained volunteers to carefully selected calls — regularly involving patients suffering a cardiac arrest or heart attack.
The University of Nottingham Community First Responders (UNCFR) will provide direct support to EMAS within the city boundaries of Nottingham and Derby, offering primary assistance for 999 medical emergency calls while an ambulance is en route to the scene.
Scheme co-founder and first year Graduate Entry Medicine student Daryl Newland previously volunteered as a CFR while living in Reading. He and fellow students came up with the idea for the new scheme after enquiring with EMAS about joining an existing scheme in the East Midlands.
While similar schemes have been established at other universities, the Nottingham scheme is unique in that it will not be restricted to only those students studying medicine.
Daryl said: “We took encouragement from student run schemes at other universities that offer this opportunity to medical students in their final years. However, we hope to be unique in operating in line with the NHS principles of multidisciplinary teamwork and invite students from cohorts beyond medicine to take part. We’ve had volunteers from medicine, nursing, physiotherapy and other healthcare disciplines, but we don’t want to restrict it to just that either.”
The aim is to pair volunteers from varied disciplines together on shifts, promoting multi-disciplinary learning. For those students studying a healthcare degree, the opportunity also provides valuable exposure to critical pre-hospital care.
Mick Barnett-Connolly, EMAS Head of Community Response, said: “This is one of the first city schemes EMAS has ever launched so it’s a fantastic and exciting initiative. All
volunteers on the scheme will be given full training by EMAS, learning how to assess an emergency situation and provide early defibrillation and resuscitation.”
EMAS has provided the scheme with two fully kitted response vehicles and the students have also received backing from The University of Nottingham’s Impact Campaign which supports student-led projects as well the Student Volunteer Centre based in the Students’ Union.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university in the UK among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World’s Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.
Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news