Emergency Volunteers Provide Lifeline to West Fife Villages

A scheme to provide emergency medical assistance to people in the West Fife villages, while ambulance crews make their way to the scene, is going from strength to strength, reports Dunfermline MSP and Villages Councillor Bill Walker.
The Community First Responder scheme — which takes in Saline, Blairhall, Comrie, Oakley, Carnock, Gowkhall, Steelend and outlying farms — started with 2 volunteers last September. This has already risen to 14 trained volunteers and 5 awaiting training.
First Responder aims to provide 24-hour cover for the villages. When someone dials 999, a First Responder will be despatched (if one is available) at the same time as an ambulance. 
Dunfermline MSP Bill Walker praised the scheme:
“The volunteer Responders are making a contribution to their communities that has the potential to save lives and reduce health complications suffered by people in emergency situations.
“The First Responder scheme complements the Scottish Ambulance Service, who train the Responders to a high level. It launched to make sure patients are assisted by fully equipped Responders while ambulance crews are en route.
“Responders are trained in the use of defibrillators, oxygen therapy and a wide range of emergency skills.
“Sadly, most people suffering a heart attack die within 8 minutes, so early intervention is crucial. With parts of the West Fife villages being difficult for ambulances to reach quickly, Responders can be a real lifeline.”
Currently, First Responder are looking for volunteers from each of the West Fife villages. Suitable candidates must be at least 18 years old, hold a driver’s license and be able to cover a minimum of one shift each month.
Volunteers are also being sought for the fund-raising team. The Scottish Ambulance Service provides all essential equipment to First Responder except the defibrillators—and each £1,000 raised buys  another defibrillator.
Anyone wishing to find out more about the Saline First Responders can email Co-ordinator Hilary Warnock at hjwarnock@btinternet.com.

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