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Homecare staff volunteer to help people who have a medical emergency

Written by on 26/04/2023

Caring staff at a homecare provider are volunteering in their own time to help people who have a medical emergency.

Sarah Croasdell, a full-time senior co-ordinator/administrator at Westmorland Homecare in Kendal, has trained to become a Community First Responder.

And Dr Chris Moss, one of the directors of the company, is a volunteer with BEEP Doctors (BASICS) Cumbria.

Westmorland Homecare provides thousands of hours of care each week to enable elderly and often frail people to live independently in their own home.

Its services include home care, such as help with housekeeping and meal preparation, and personal care, such as help with dressing, bathing and getting in and out of bed.

Sarah, who lives in Kendal, has joined the Kendal Community First Responders group, which supports the North West Ambulance Service.

Community First Responders are volunteers who give their time freely to help care for people and save lives in their community. They are everyday members of the general public who are trained to deal with a wide range of potentially life-threatening conditions in the first few minutes until the arrival of an ambulance.

“I have a passion for caring for people and I want to make a difference to the community,” said Sarah. “And, from a personal point of view, it is reassuring to know that if a member of my own family suffered a medical emergency, I would know what to do.”

Sarah undertook two weekends of training and is supported by other members of the group. She has been trained in basic first aid skills, how to use a defibrillator and what to do if, for example, someone has a seizure, a heart attack or cardiac arrest.

Sarah has not been on a CFR call-out yet and said she hoped to shadow more experienced members of the team for the first few times. “I’m sure the adrenalin will kick in and I will just go out and do what I have trained for,” she said.

Chris Moss paid tribute to Sarah. “I think it is great that both inside and outside of work staff want to get involved and help support people in the community,” he said. “It is testament to the staff we have at Westmorland Homecare that they want to go above and beyond.”

Chris, who also works as an accident and emergency doctor, started volunteering with BEEP Doctors (Cumbria) three years ago and, as one of the charity’s trustees, oversees fund-raising.

Cumbria’s BEEP Doctors provide enhanced pre-hospital emergency care. They work closely with the police and fire services, North West Ambulance Service, Great North Air Ambulance Service and North West Air Ambulance.

Many of the emergencies they attend are road traffic collisions, as well as incidents involving farms, pushbikes, horses and water.

“I joined after I had an accident on my pushbike and was very grateful to the paramedics for their help,” said Chris, who does around 30 hours per month volunteering with BEEP Doctors.

“Cumbria is a very rural area and it is great to be able to support our paramedic colleagues to get help as soon as possible to people who have emergencies,” he said.