VOLUNTEERS are being sought to become lifesavers and "make a difference" in their local communities.

South Western Ambulance Service is recruiting community first responders (CFRs) in south Wiltshire.

CFRs are volunteers who attend emergency calls ahead of an ambulance, which can include cardiac arrest incidents.

There are CFR schemes covering Salisbury, Wilton, Amesbury, Durrington, Bulford, Tidworth, Ludgershall, Netheravon, Upavon, Pewsey, the Winterbournes, Old Sarum, Winterslow, Wylye, Whiteparish and Shrewton.

In Wiltshire, there are about 100 CFR volunteers.

Amanda Wernham, has been volunteering for two years and covers Upavon. Speaking about what she enjoys most about the role, she said: "Knowing that you have helped somebody and make a difference to them is really rewarding."

Adrian Boyd, who has been volunteering for six years covers the area of Wilton. He was inspired to become a volunteer after receiving help from a community responder after he was taken ill.

"For me personally, it is seeing the reassurance on the face of patients or their relatives that someone is here and you are taking away a lot of that anxiety from them."

Those wishing to apply need to be 18 or over, hold a full clean driving licence, have access to a car and be fit enough to perform CPR on the floor.

Training is provided by the ambulance service as well as the uniform and response equipment, including defibrillators.

Community responder officer Dave Wilmot said: "Community First Responders are members of the public, lay responders, giving up their time and learning new skills to help their communities and the ambulance service."

Applicants need to be able to commit about 12 hours of on-call cover a week, which can be done as they go about their normal daily routine. Most volunteers go on-call for a few hours at a time.

Amanda says she would encourage people to "go for it" and become a volunteer. She added: "It is one of the most rewarding jobs without being paid for it."

For more information contact Dave Wilmot on 07831 100606 or david.wilmot@swast.nhs.uk. Alternatively, there is a responder helpline for general enquiries on 01392 261647 or go to swast.nhs.uk.

To apply go to jobs.nhs.uk and look for Community First Responders Wiltshire or reference 202-145-17. The deadline for applications is September 29.