Sheffield Medical Students Responder Scheme Launches

Sheffield Medical Students Responder Scheme Launch

Medical students at Sheffield University have launched a new lifesaving initiative alongside the Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS).

Students have given their time to be trained by YAS Community Resilience Team to become Community First Responders (CFRs). They have been trained in the use of an Automated External Defibrillator, which provides vital treatment to patients in cardiac arrest, and Oxygen Therapy.

They join the ranks of the 1000 volunteer CFRs already active in Yorkshire and the existing project with Hull and York Medical School.

Each volunteer has offered to give 4 hours of their free time each week to be on call responding to patients in their local area either before the arrival of the ambulance or, in many cases, providing assistance to ambulance crews.

42 students have been trained so far with another 15 still to undertake the course. Responding in pairs their whereabouts are tracked and they are activated by the Emergency Operations Centre in Wakefield.

Since going live in early January 2016 the group has been on call for over 130 hours and the volunteers have attended 22 incidents. These include patients experiencing conditions such as chest pain, stroke and breathing problems; life threatening emergencies where early intervention can be crucial. With the 15 volunteers from Cohort 3 about to go live these figures can only go up and the number of patients to benefit increase.

The scheme has been well received by local ambulance staff who have been involving the students in the incidents they attend and believe there is a benefit to future doctors having an even better understanding of pre-hospital care and the work of the ambulance service.

The project would not have been possible without the efforts of members of the Sheffield Actute Care and Trauma Society, President David Edwards who made the initial contact with YAS and Pre-Hospital Care Rep Adam McDonald who has coordinated the launch of the scheme and continues to coordinate the CFR group.

Community Defibrillation Officer Emma Scott who conducted the training and manages the scheme in the area said, "It has been a pleasure to work with these enthusiastic, bright young people. They have conducted themselves with great professionalism during training and the first few weeks of activity. I am confident they will continue to provide a positive service to the people of Sheffield."

If my community needs me I want to be there!