We are a group of volunteers formed under an initiative by Wheaton Aston & Lapley Parish Council and trained by Staffordshire Ambulance NHS Trust to respond to emergency calls for medical assistance within our community.

Why are we needed?

Due to the remote location of our communities, it can sometimes take a longer-than-ideal time for an ambulance and/or Community Paramedic Officer to reach emergency calls in our area. It is hoped that as we live locally, the vital minutes saved in the commencement of pre hospital care by our rapid arrival will save lives. We are a complement to, not a replacement for the Ambulance Service, and will be responded as well as, not instead of, a paramedic.

How have we been trained?

Our training commenced in September 2004, and was completed in July 2005. We took part in three-hour training sessions each week, during which time we received formal structured training by two full time Staffordshire Ambulance Service paramedics. In addition to this we took part in specialist training sessions at Ambulance HQ in Stafford, and each produced a portfolio of evidence of the knowledge we gained. We also spent several days receiving practical experience with a Community Paramedic Officer and ambulance crew as they went about a normal shift. Before we became operational we had to pass three written exams and successfully complete a day-long practical exercise where real life scenarios were enacted in our community, and our performance was assessed by professionals from Staffordshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust. Our final exercise took place on 23rd July 2005 and we became operational on 25th July 2005.

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