If you need the services of the First Responders, please call the ambulance immediately on 999 and the Responders will be called out automatically if it is appropriate. Please do not call individual responders as it is important that the ambulance is called.
Community First Responders are volunteers who give their time freely to help save lives in their community. Responders are everyday members of the general public who are trained in the use of Automated External Defibrillators and the treatment and control of a wide range of potentially life threatening conditions.
Kentmere First Responders was formed in 2004 under the leadership of Jim Stilling who is a professional para-medic. Initially there were a number of money raising events including a coffee morning and a supper evening at Hartrigg Farm. The group was also very grateful for the kind help of The British Heart Foundation, Neighbourhood Forum, Windermere Ambleside & District Round Table, The Hound Trailing Association, Kendal Lions and the Hatfield Trust. Their support enabled the group to acquire the necessary equipment and after successful training the group went live in June 2004. Ongoing costs (mainly the rental of the call out pagers) are covered mostly by providing refreshments for the annual Kentmere Horseshoe Fell Race. In addition the group are very grateful for donations from Kentmere Parish Meeting, Pete Bland, Hound Trailing Association, Neighbourhood Forum and other private individuals.
The Responders are called out by the North West Ambulance Service using an individual pager system at the same time as an ambulance is mobilised. The Responders go to the assistance of patients whilst they are waiting for an ambulance to arrive. The Responders carry, along with other equipment, heart defibrillators and oxygen in case the patient suffers a cardiac arrest.
Currently (November 2011) there are 9 trained and active Responders in Kentmere. They attend training sessions every month to keep their skills up to date and once or twice a year hold joint training sessions with the Staveley First Responders. They cover an area from the Hollingsworth & Vose Factory to the head of the valley. Staveley First Responders cover properties down at the foot of the valley (as well as other areas around Staveley).
Recently we acquired some new equipment. In August we raised some money towards a new defibrillator and benefitted from a 50% grant from the British Heart Foundation. We are very grateful to the British Heart Foundation for their support which enabled us to buy this new modern defibrillator.
In December we received a grant for a new training defibrillator from Cumbria County Council and the Upper Kent Neighbourhood Forum. We are very grateful to Cumbria County Council and the Upper Kent Neighbourhood Forum for the grant to enable us to buy this new training defibrillator.
Kentmere is a very spread out valley so this new equipment has enabled us to move the old defibrillator up to a location at Hallow Bank. In future we will train using both types of training defibrillators.
For more information about Community First Responders, see the North West Ambulance Community First Responder website>>.