Sutton's First Responders ready to roll
By Nancy Helmuth
The town of Sutton has just announced the start of a new service, the "First Responders". Each of the volunteers had to undergo 60 hours of professional training and they are all now accredited to respond to medical emergencies in the Sutton area. The problem in the past had been that it takes an ambulance a miniumum of 20 minutes to respond as they have to come from Cowansville, a distance of some 25 kilometers.
The new group of volunteers which are centered at the Sutton fire department are teamed in pairs and will work 12 hour shifts, once a week. The service is now available round the clock, seven days every week.
When a life treatening call comes into the 9-1-1 service, the first responders will be dispatched by the pre-hospital emergency service through the ambulatory call dispatch system. The role of the first responders is to evaluate and stabilise the patient and to offer first care, awaiting the arrival of the ambulance technicians. In case of life and death situations, a few minutes can often make a huge difference. The volunteers are trained in the use of defibrillators, have been taught how to stabilise wounds and to keep a patient calm, warm and stable until professional help is on the scene.
A new training session will be announced soon and prospective new volunteers are encouraged to contact Jean-Pierre Boisvert at (450) 538-4172 to find out how they may be able to assist this most needed and valuable new service in town.