A CAMPAIGN has been launched to encourage more people to become life-saving volunteers.

Community first responders (CFR’s) across the New Forest have teamed up to launch a campaign.

More volunteers are needed especially in Ringwood and Bransgore. Ringwood currently has only one community first responder.

CFR’s in those areas have joined forces to get the message out that the more volunteers they have, the more hours they can be available and potentially the more lives that can be saved.

Community First Responders (CFRs) are 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 defibrillator and the treatment and control of a wide range of potentially life-threatening conditions.

and attend calls in their local area and provide basic life support care until the arrival of the ambulance service.

Co-ordinating the recruitment campaign locally is Jackie Russell, the deputy coordinator of the Bransgore scheme, who added: “Like most voluntary groups, people come and go as their availability and life style changes so there is a constant need to seek out new volunteers.”

Volunteers will attend a five-day training course and are asked to commit at least 20 hours each month. They need to be over 18, have use of a car and be fit enough to carry the kitbag and conduct CPR were necessary.”

Denis Hann is the only first responder in Ringwood and needs more volunteers to join him.

He said: “Responder schemes save lives. The reward for the individual is knowing that they have done their bit to save a life and I would say it is the best feeling in the world. But CFRs don’t just deal with cardiac arrests. There are many conditions they assist with; accidents and trauma, breathing difficulties, stroke, chest pain, diabetic emergencies, the list goes on.

“Very often though, the best treatment is the reassuring presence of a caring first responder who is there “just in case” and who has skills to help and a direct link to the ambulance control room if needed”.

Anyone interested in volunteering call 0800 587 0207 or email cfr@scas.nhs.uk