Knutsford Community First Responder Trust

The Knutsford Community First Responder Trust (Registered Charity No. 1119568) was formed in September 2002 and acts as an umbrella for 4 initiatives:

All members of the Knutsford Community First Responder Trust are volunteers.

All members of all 4 activities are local volunteers and are totally supported financially by donations from local businesses, donations by individuals and fund-raising events within Knutsford and its surrounds.

The First Responder Team, trained by and working with the North West Ambulance Service, is a group of volunteers whose aim is to preserve life and promote recovery in an emergency situation in which an ambulance is not immediately available and within a 5 mile radius of Knutsford. Over a six month period we respond to over 500 calls, arriving at more than half of these before the ambulance and, because of ongoing training, we now attend emergency calls to all age groups.

The Community Heartstart Initiative is a group of volunteers – the same group of First Responders – whose aim is to teach Emergency Life Support Skills, free of charge, to as many members of the public as would like to learn. We have now trained thousands of people living in and around Knutsford, from as young as 6 to as old as 92, in life saving skills as well as retraining many more. We do not discriminate in any way. For example, just because a person is physically unable to perform CPR does not stop them from learning the skills necessary to instruct others. Heartstart was initiated by The British Heart Foundation who provided all the initial equipment needed to start the scheme, however all new stocks and room hire has to be funded by our group through donations and fund raising. The Knutsford Heartstart Course, together with its satellite Wythenshawe Heartstart Course, is accredited each year by the British Heart Foundation.

The Defibrillator Initiative is the provision of Automatic Exterior Defibrillators (AEDs) in and around the Knutsford area. To reduce the risk of a life being lost through cardiac arrest, it is essential that defibrillation is applied within minutes of the patient collapsing. We have a number of these AEDs already placed around the area and we hope to continue funding the purchase of more. The use of a defibrillator is included as part of the Heartstart training course and members of the public have used several of our defibrillators in emergency situations in the town. They are clearly identifiable because they are stored in large red security boxes which are easily accessible, and we endeavour to place these machines on premises which are open for long periods of time 7 days a week.

The Cardiac Screening of Young Adults. A new initiative launched by the Knutsford Community First Responder Trust in 2016 in partnership with the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY). Since its formation in 1995, CRY has been working to reduce the frequency of young sudden cardiac death. Amongst other initiatives CRY offers subsidised ECG and Echocardiogram screening to young people between the ages of 14 & 35.  The KCFRT organises and funds (at a cost of £5,000 per screening day for 100 people), in collaboration with CRY,  annual screening days for the Knutsford community, aiming to reduce the risk of cardiac death in the youth of Knutsford.

What are ELS (Emergency Life Skills)?
ELS are actions that are required to keep someone alive until further professional medical assistance arrives on the scene
ELS include:

  • Recognising the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and getting professional help.
  • Dealing with cardiac arrest and performing CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation).
  • Caring for the unconscious casualty.
  • Using an AED (Automated External Defibrillator).
  • Choking.
  • Serious bleeding.
These simple skills really can help save lives