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Celebration of our Major Milestone

Updated: May 5, 2021

' A group of trained student volunteers who give up their time to support East Midlands Ambulance Service to provide high-quality pre-hospital care to patients with life-threatening emergencies are celebrating a very special milestone.

The University of Nottingham First Responders, a team of 50 students, have reached an incredible 20,000 volunteered hours this month and having been called out to 8,000 real-life medical emergencies since the initiative was first launched in 2014, impacting the lives of thousands of patients and their families in the region. Since then, they have attended various emergency calls from allergic reactions to strokes, including 383 cardiac arrests, 1288 breathing problems, 1265 chest pains, 1110 unconscious patients.

Community First Responders (CFRs) are volunteers trained and dispatched by the ambulance service to attend 999 medical emergency calls in their local area. They are taught lifesaving skills and carry specialist equipment to provide patients with initial care before the arrival of the paramedics. The University Scheme of 50 members mostly consists of medical students, which enables them to practise their skills in a pre-hospital environment, but they welcome students from different backgrounds too.

Using two cars based at the Portland Building, the university team can be tasked with 999 calls anywhere in the East Midlands. This academic year alone they have responded to 804 medical emergencies including 42 cardiac arrests, 165 breathing difficulties, 166 chest pains, 67 unconscious and 33 seizures. In 71% of the cases, they arrived first on the scene, enabling them to provide the patient with vital emergency care quicker than it would otherwise have come. The Scheme is completely financially independent from the ambulance service and relies on fundraising and donations, as well as support from the University of Nottingham and its Student’s Union.

Adam Balogh, a Responder of the Scheme and final year Chemical Engineering student said: “Being a First Responder is the best thing I have done during my time at Nottingham. I have been responding with the Scheme for 3 years and I absolutely enjoy it. I have attended to over 260 patients, including a successful resuscitation, severe asthma attacks, chocking but I even reassured a worried family as their 4 months old baby was having a seizure. One thing, however, is common in all these stories: it is the most satisfying feeling when we can help the patients. However, we should not always think of huge ‘lifesaving procedures’, sometimes a kind word and a quality care can change lives. It is so valuable to give back to the local community, meanwhile meeting other students from a diverse background with the same interest.” '

Source: University of Nottingham Community Newsletter 2021 - published: April 2021

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