Talk us through your society. What do you do and what are your aims?
Leeds Student Community First Responders began in 2016 as the slightly rogue idea of a now final year medical student. We have since grown to encompass over 100 volunteers, and are proud to recruit and train students from across the university. Over the last 3 years, we’ve logged over 12,000 hours of on calls and supported hundreds of patients.
CFRs work to provide rapid, life-saving and holistic pre-hospital care to seriously ill patients in our community, working under a committee of volunteer medical students and in partnership with Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
As well as this, we devise and run regular CPD simulations from triaging major incidents to extracting casualties from caves. We also run regular community outreach projects alongside the ‘Restart A Heart’ campaign, bringing life-saving CPR training to the general public, ranging from open sessions in Leeds city centre to local Brownie groups. If all of this isn’t enough, we’re also responsible for maintaining the public access defibrillator many of you will have spotted outside Royal Park Pub!
Why do you volunteer?
Volunteering as a CFR allows me and my peers to make a real difference to our patients. Many of us are medical students hoping to pursue careers in Emergency Care, and volunteering as CFRs gives us valuable experience and the chance to further develop our knowledge and skills, whilst supporting our local community.
I’m proud of the reputation we have gained for our enthusiasm, knowledge and high-quality care. But talk to any of our volunteers, and I’m certain that whilst they’ll speak energetically of team efforts to restart hearts, they will also speak more gently of the privilege of the cup of tea they shared with the wife of a patient reaching the end of his life. Equally, they’ll tell you about the friendships they have developed, the skills they have grown and the fulfilment in serving our community.