Highlands and Islands MSP and former ambulance service employee Emma Roddick (pictured) has again spoken in support of Community First Responders being utilised fully and authorised to drive in ‘blue-light’ emergency situations.
This is following military personnel being drafted since September to aid in driving ambulances amid what is being described as a “crisis” for the Scottish Ambulance Service.
Currently, there are approximately 1500 CFRs across Scotland who are trained and able to attend various life-threatening situations, like cardiac arrest and stroke, in the critical moments before ambulance crews arrive.
“It is important to hear the frustrations that community first responders are voicing, and it is unacceptable they are receiving little to no engagement whilst our NHS heads towards what will be one of the toughest winters in history.
“The Scottish Ambulance Service website currently states that the number of volunteers had been so high that applications are not even currently open.
“It boggles the mind that the army is being brought in to help the ambulance service while applications to their under-used and under-appreciated volunteer pool are closed.
“Our CFRs deserve to know why they are not being enabled to assist further, or at the very least given a valid reason as to why their offers are being ignored”.
Roddick previously called for an expanding role of Community First Responders in Parliament, telling the Cabinet Secretary she was ‘baffled’ the army was being called in to assist before them, despite many being blue-light trained from their day jobs.