New first response team to save lives in Midhurst area

A volunteer response group has been set up in Midhurst in a bid to improve response times to medical emergencies.

Thursday, 19th August 2021, 11:25 am
Updated Thursday, 19th August 2021, 11:28 am

It comes in response to the closure of Midhurst Ambulance Station in 2016, and concerns that residents were left waiting longer for ambulances.

Midhurst MEDS (Medical Emergency District Support) has been founded with the help of South East Coast Ambulance Service.

Volunteers for Midhurst MEDS, or ‘community first responders’, respond to medical emergencies on behalf of the NHS SECAmb Trust in the Midhurst area.

South East Coast Ambulance Service

Olly Wheeler, founder and director of the non-profit organisation, is currently a full-time responder and attends emergency calls as a volunteer.

He said: “I’m delighted to be helping the community I’ve been a part of for so many years, but we now need the support of local businesses and residents to help us survive and grow our service.

“Living and/or working in the communities they serve, community first responders will typically arrive at the scene ahead of the ambulance service and be able to begin often life-saving treatment.

“I am hopeful the scheme will go from strength to strength in the coming months and years ahead and would urge everyone to keep an eye on our website for further developments.”

A spokesman for South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) said: “Our volunteer community first responders provide a vital service right across our region, not only responding alongside us to emergency calls but also fundraising for the purchase of public access defibrillators and teaching CPR and first aid to the people they serve.

“We are delighted to have Olly responding in the Midhurst area and thank everyone for the support I’m sure he will receive.”

Those interested in getting involved should contact [email protected] or call 07896218561.