New funding boost for ambulance volunteers in East Midlands

East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) Community Response team has successfully secured £607,000 in charity grants to launch new volunteer projects and fund defibrillators and electric vehicles across the East Midlands.

NHS Charities Together awarded a grant of £509,000 with an additional grant of £98,000 coming from NHS England.

These two Community Services Grants will be used to fund a number of different projects at EMAS as part of the Community Response Volunteer Strategy. With the help of the NHS Charities Together grant, the Community Response team can now:

  • establish eight new community first responder (CFR) schemes in currently underserved areas in the East Midlands
  • provide 10 new fully electric multi-capability (Medical and Falls Response) CFR cars
  • introduce 126 new community public access defibrillators predominantly in rural communities where there are above average occurrences of chest pain and sudden cardiac arrest, as well as ensuring all EMAS buildings and ambulance stations have a public access defibrillator on site, available 24/7
  •  equip a Volunteer Doctor Critical Care Car for EMICS (East Midlands Immediate Care Scheme) to provide an enhanced critical care response to patients requiring support across the East Midlands.

Using the funds from the NHS England grant, the team will also:

  •  establish 48 new CFR dispatch points, including the issue of 48 responder kits complete with response bags, full medical equipment, defibrillator, and observations/diagnostics equipment
  •  introduce a Community Resilience Volunteer Trainer to support our Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest and Clinical Quality Strategy; they will be responsible for the delivery of a rolling bystander CPR training programme in all communities and placement of more defibrillators
  • introduce a Volunteer Operations Support Worker to support A&E and Patient Transport Services with increased demand and capacity pressures in all counties.

Michael Barnett-Connolly, Head of Community Response at East Midlands Ambulance Service said he was pleased to secure this funding. “Our volunteers make a huge and valued contribution at EMAS and this work will make a difference to the lives of people within our communities across the region. Through the giving of their free time to support staff and patients, more lives will be saved.”