A NEW car has been launched to help the ambulance service’s community first responders get to patients even quicker in medical emergencies.

The car is now available 24/7 in the Chafford Hundred area of Thurrock and has been fully funded through the fundraising and hard work of first responder and CFR coordinator Zoe Tydeman.

Community first responders are volunteers who are trained to attend certain types of emergency calls in the area where they live or work.

Their role is to help stabilise the patient and provide the appropriate care until the more highly skilled ambulance crew arrives on scene to take over the treatment.

Zoe, who has been a first responder for two years, said: “I’d like to say a big thanks to all the people who have supported me over the last two years to manage my community first responder (CFR) work and fund this new vehicle, whilst also working full time in Canary Wharf in business management and managing a family.

“I have also funded and installed many public access defibrillators for our community through fundraising work, with more due to be delivered and installed shortly.

“Paul Ludewig, my clinical link at EEAST has been a great support since he took on the group in March 2017, showing how valuable CFRs are to both the Trust and the community they serve.”

Zoe is a responder serving the Chafford Hundred area, which serves the west side of Thurrock, including Grays, South Ockendon, Orsett, Aveley Stifford Clays.

Several community first responder applicants are currently going through the recruitment process with EEAST and will soon embark on their training programmes.

To become a community first responder, you must be physically fit, aged between 18 and 70, agree to a background check and have a full driving licence and access to a road-worthy car.

You must also have a sympathetic and caring nature and undergo training with the ambulance service.

To volunteer for EEAST, or to find out more information, visit www.eastamb.nhs.uk/join-the-team/community-first-responders.