A new team of life savers are in place at The Mall in Blackburn, as four members of the security staff have been trained by the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) to become volunteer Community First Responders (CFR).
Paul Masterman, Sara Jaffer, Gareth Stead-Clark and Maggie Koziol are now qualified and being supported by The Mall Management to attend to those who may need their help across the town as part of their daily duties.
A CFR is an important support to each local community as they are called out at the same time as an ambulance crew to serious and emergency incidents. As they are usually first on the scene they can provide that important first aid and are equipped with specialist life-saving equipment such as defibrillators to help increase the chances of getting a positive outcome until the Ambulance Service arrive.
Ronnie O’Keefe, Soft Services Manager at The Mall Blackburn, said: “Community First Responders are a vital part of the emergency services and I am delighted that four members of our team are now fully trained and ready to help.
“There are 27 Community First Responders in Blackburn with Darwen and Accrington, and having four here in the Mall is wonderful.
“We have worked in conjunction with management here at The Mall and our First Responders can attend incidents as part of their everyday duties, which is great news.”
Nick Isherwood who works for NWAS and is a Community First Responder Team Leader in Accrington and Blackburn with Darwen said: “Around 20 per cent of cardiac arrests happen in public places and the survival chances can be dramatically increased through immediate CPR and early defibrillation and thanks to the support of The Mall in Blackburn, daytime shoppers, workers and visitors to the town centre will now have a dedicated team of Community First Responders.
“Additionally, when the staff are away from work they will be able to respond to any incidents within their local community, providing even greater support to life threatening medical emergencies across the area. I cannot thank the team and their management enough for their generosity and commitment.”
Anyone in the North West can get involved to become a Community First Responder as volunteers don’t need to have had any previous first aid training to apply. If you would like to find out more information please go to www.nwas-responders.info.