The Horsham Road dealership has donated a defibrillator to the Worthing and District Community First Responder (CFR) Team, which supports South East Coast Ambulance service responding to 999 calls when on duty, checking Public Access Defibrillator sites and delivering CPR and defibrillator familiarisation across the area.
Sally Holmes, a volunteer for the CFR team, said “Our primary function is CPR and an early response to this life-threatening emergency is essential.
“As we live locally, we may arrive at the scene of an emergency ahead of the ambulance and be able to treat the patient in advance of their arrival.
“We are sent to patients with a wide variety of conditions that prompted them to dial 999. This may be anything from a patient who is breathing but unconscious to someone who has had an allergic reaction, breathing difficulties or a non-injury fall.”
Across the South East, CFRs attend roughly 20,000 999 calls a year, with 10,000 categorised as life-threatening.
Alongside front-line aid, responders such as Sally offer CPR and defibrillator familiarisation sessions free of charge, with one session recently attended by many of the staff from Cuff Miller.
James Baxter, dealer principal of Cuff Miller, said: “Having purchased a new defibrillator for our site, we were fortunate to have taken part in the familiarisation that was offered to us at no cost by Sally and we were simply blown away that this was carried out completely by volunteers that do an incredible job and give so freely of their time.
“The familiarisation training has given the team the confidence as to what to do in an emergency and I would fully encourage any business to do the same.”
CFRs volunteer for a minimum of 20 hours per month, with many volunteers like Sally offering much more.
The South East Coast Ambulance Service supply a kitbag and clinical supplies, but equipment such as defibrillators are paid for by fundraising and donations which are ‘absolutely vital’ to the continued work of the team.
The new defibrillator that Cuff Miller has donated will be assigned to one of two new responders who have joined the team and will be covering the local area.
Sally and another volunteer, Jenny Lindsay, a CFR team leader, said they were very pleased to have received the defibrillator.
They said: “We are just so very grateful because we do have to fundraise to buy a defibrillator.
“Every time we get a new CFR, we have to fundraise to enable us to get them their own defibrillator, so we just can’t say enough how grateful we are.”
James added: “We are delighted to donate a new defibrillator to support the incredible work carried out by the Community First Responder team covering our local area.
“We are proud to have served Littlehampton and it’s community for 75 years in 2022. These are our friends, our neighbours and our family.
“It is very pleasing to be able to offer our support in this way, knowing that our donation may well go on to save many lives.”
For more information on the Community First Responder Team, visit the South East Coast Ambulance Service website.