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First Responders Celebrate 10 Years of Lifesaving

Penicuik Community First Responders are celebrating ten years in operation and countless interventions to save local lives.

Launched in December 2005, the local voluntary group is tasked with reaching a casualty before an ambulance may be able to reach them. Since their inauguration, they have been called out 2643 times and have amassed over 65,000 hours of cover, usually around other jobs and commitments.

By dispatching responders from within the immediate district, the Penicuik First Responders are able to reach the victim in an average of 4 minutes and 46 seconds, considerably faster than the ambulance service. This time saving is crucial in dealing with those suffering from cardiac arrest.

PCFR said:

In the case of cardiac arrest, for every minute that passes without cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation, a patient’s chances of survival decreases by 14%. PCFR answer calls in their neighbourhood, therefore, the potential for them to arrive on scene before an ambulance, is vital in providing immediate life-saving treatment. These extra minutes do help to save lives.

Whilst the organisation doesn’t provide around the clock cover, they are volunteers after all, they have still played a vital part in saving local lives. Out of the past 20 cardiac arrests within the town, they have provide assistance at 17 of these.

The first responders are trained by the Scottish Ambulance Service and drawn upon by the emergency services to attend to Category A “life-threatened” casualties whilst the ambulance is in transit. Both the responders and the ambulance are dispatched simultaneously and the first responder will quickly leave their house or place of work to reach the scene. Common emergencies include people suffering from stroke and heart attack. In the past year, 265 callouts have shown a variety of problems:

63 – breathing difficulties;
17 – cardiac arrests;
72 – chest pains;
10 – epilepsy;
10 – diabetic;
4 – heart problems;
21 – stroke;
37 – unconscious; and
22 – other.

PCFR are always keen to recruit new volunteers to increase their availability and if you would be interested in joining PCFR, please contact Beeslack Community Education Department, on 01968 673893. They are keen to recruit volunteers who have availability Monday to Friday during the day or evening. If you want to find out more about them, then please get in contact via their Facebook page.

A very Happy Birthday to them.