New service to save lives in Carrick

The scheme will work with the Scottish Ambulance Service.
The scheme will work with the Scottish Ambulance Service.

A vital new service providing emergency care has been launched in Girvan and South Carrick.

The community First Responders has been launched by the Girvan and South Carrick Villages Locality Planning Group to help save lives.

Girvan and South Carrick First Responders attend 999 calls on behalf of the Scottish Ambulance Service, offering life-saving treatments until professional crews arrive at the scene. The service was set up following concerns about immediate emergency support in Barr, Dailly, Pinmore, Pinwherry, Barrhill, Colmonell, Ballantrae, Lendalfoot, and Girvan.

The service provides volunteers with training which could help provide early interventions in situations such as a heart or asthma attack before ambulance crew arrive at the scene. This improves patient survival and recovery. So far, 22 local residents have come forward, but with scope for far more to get involved. The aim is to have a qualified First Responder in each South Carrick village.

Peter Walker, Chairperson of the South Ayrshire Health & Social Care’s Girvan & South Carrick Villages Partnership said the move was a practical response: “With many of our villages some distance from a major hospital every second counts, and to have people at hand to provide emergency help as soon as it’s needed will help to save lives.

“By working in partnership with the Scottish Ambulance Service we’re providing a response that directly addresses local concerns about emergency cover for issues that can happen in any location at any time.

“We’ve had a great response from our communities so far but we’re already looking to hear from other people as we extend our network of volunteers and expand the skills available across South Carrick.”

Councillor Julie Dettbarn, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Health and Social Care, said the service would make a positive impact on the community: “While no-one ever wants to be in a situation when they need emergency assistance, the fact a service like this exists will help to save lives in Girvan and South Carrick. First Responders have a proven track record getting to people quickly, and I’m pleased to see so many people have already come forward to lend their support. This positive move will teach a broad-range of volunteers, life-saving skills which will provide real help to rural communities in emergency situations, and I wish them every success as they look to build their service in the months ahead.”

Anyone interested in becoming a Community First Responder will be trained in a wide-range of emergency skills, and use specialised equipment such as automatic external defibrillators and oxygen therapy.

For more information about how to get involved please contact, Peter Walker, Chairperson Girvan and South Carrick Partnership. Email: peterawalker@btinternet.com.

Find out more from South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Girvan & South Carrick Partnership meetings in Girvan Community Hospital every second Wednesday at 7pm.