RINGWOOD is in a desperate need of life-saving volunteers to become Community First Responders (CFRs).

The town currently has only one volunteer covering a population of 14,500.

CFRs are unpaid volunteers who give their time freely to help save lives in their community. They are trained by South Central Ambulance Service in basic life support, the use of automated external defibrillators and the treatment of a range of potentially life-threatening conditions.

Denis Hann runs his own business in Ringwood as well as running the Ringwood CFR scheme. He is looking for more people to help cover evenings and weekends as well as helping fundraising efforts.

“Everyone wants to do their bit for their community and what better way than becoming a CFR? The training is excellent and free. Because we know the area and the people, we can be on the scene of a life threatening situation in minutes, but we can only do this with more volunteers.”

Denis says he enjoys “everything” about the role and “making a difference”.

“It is putting something back into the community that is worthwhile,” he said. “More volunteers would make the difference.”

CFR’s attend calls in their local area and provide basic life support care until the arrival of the ambulance service. When not required they remain at home or work carrying on their daily life until an emergency call comes in.

Denis said: “You don’t need any previous experience and as long as you hold a full driving licence, are of good character and have some spare time to suit you, Ringwood CFRs would gladly appreciate and welcome you on board.

“It is not just Ringwood crying out for volunteers, Bransgore, New Milton, Fordingbridge need volunteers.”

Bransgore coordinator Mike Jukes said: “Our volunteers move on and we need to ensure we have enough in the team to achieve as much cover wherever possible. Last year our team were on call for over 7100 hours in the year, that’s over 81 per cent of each day and we aim to exceed this by the end of 2017.”

“We ask for a minimum of just 20 hours a month from volunteers, being ready at home or work, just in case a 999 call comes. With the training from the ambulance service, the equipment and support we supply really can make a difference to a person suffering a life threatening medical emergency.

“They may be the person who saves a life before the ambulance gets there. To be that person gives you a really good feeling inside - in fact there is no better feeling. I would encourage anyone who may be interested to give us a call and have a chat about what’s involved.”

Anyone interested in becoming a community first responder call 0844 5009699 or email bransgorecfr@sca-charity.org.uk.