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Rutland Community First Responders receive £3,000 grant from Oakham Town Council

Rutland Community First Responders have been awarded a £3,000 grant from Oakham Town Council.

The group, which is made up of volunteers, receives no government funding and would normally raise money for equipment through local events.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, this has not been possible for the past year, although they had managed to generate £2,000 through online fundraising.

Rutland Community First Responders
Rutland Community First Responders

The £5000 they now have will be used to update life saving equipment, equip new recruits, and support their ongoing costs.

In a statement, an Oakham Town Council spokesman said its members “are proud to support the work of Rutland Community First Responders and hope they can continue to make a life-changing impact to the residents of Oakham”.

Rutland Community First Responders aim to assist the ambulance service, and are often able to arrive at 999 calls before paramedics. When they attend they can provide reassurance to the patient, and medical assistance.

This assistance can prove especially vital for heart attack victims, because the responders carry a defibrillator and oxygen that can be deployed as soon as they arrive.

The defibrillators, which can detect an irregular heartbeat and try to restore regular a normal rhythm using an electric shock, needs annual servicing, and upgrading every few years, as well as needing new batteries and new chest pads. This is part of the reason the funding is important for the group’s continuation.

In February 2021 Rutland Community First Responders logged 261 responding hours and attended 75 patients for reasons including falls, stroke, heart attack, chest pain, collapse and infection.

In many of these cases the responders were the first people to arrive following the 999 call.

On top of this they also provided 97 hours of cover at the Rutland Vaccination clinic at the Rutland County Council offices in Oakham.

The Rutland Community First Responders have a website where more information is available on donating to the group, sponsoring equipment and kit, and on becoming a community first responder.

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