EMERGENCY medical response in Angus received a much needed boost last week thanks to a generous donation.
On Friday afternoon at Lodge 7 in Artillery Lane, Dundee, The Provincial Grand Lodge of Forfarshire presented a cheque for £3,000 to the First Responder programme in our area.
The programme is run by St John Scotland and currently in the county there are groups of volunteers in Carnoustie, Kirriemuir, Kellas and Wellbank who are trained to get to the scene of a cardiac arrest or similar incident and administer life-saving resuscitation until the paramedics arrive.
Chairman of the Dundee and Angus branch of St John Scotland Bill Spence was contacted by the Grand Lodge who were keen to see the First Responders grow.
Bill said: “They contacted me to say they wanted to support First Responders across the area. It’s actually the Provincial Grand Lodge of Forfarshire and it covers Montrose, all of Angus and Dundee as I understand it.
“They said that in the course of distributing their funds they thought they would like to help a good cause and First Responders had come to their attention and that it could be developed further in their area.
“We would like to get similar units up and running in Arbroath, Montrose and Brechin as well, and we also have a couple of new volunteers who will give coverage to the south Angus area.
“We are looking to do this in all the areas in Angus and Dundee if we can.”
The First Responders have been very busy since the first group of volunteers came online in March this year.
Bill said: “We are waiting for an exact quote for the number of incidents that First Responders have been to, but I believe that to be in excess of 150 incidents since we got things going earlier this year.
“I think it’s phenomenal that individuals in the community give a lot of their time, with what is in fact a very challenging undertaking.
“Not only do they undertake the initial training, but also the monthly training updates as well.
“It has been so successful that the ambulance service is looking to extend not only the number of units doing this, but also the kind of incidents that a First Responder is able to do by enhancing the training that they get.
“Groups and individuals in the Angus and Dundee area have been very supportive of the whole concept.”
Anyone who is interested in becoming a First Responder should contact the Dundee and Angus St John team on 01382 350553 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.