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December 2021

Open Letter from Steve Harris, the new Scheme Co-ordinator

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Seasonal greeting to all

I thought, after such a hard couple of years, I should just give a quick update from the operational side of Eccleshall’s fantastic CFR team.

Since the start of the epidemic and through all of the different rules, lockdowns etc Martin, Jay, Sue and myself have missed just a handful of days serving the people of Staffordshire in one way or another. As the new team coordinator I would like to thank them, but more importantly, their families (also at risk) allowing us to respond. We may not have worn out our equipment with use but we certainly have cleaned it to the point of destruction.

We have not just been on Eccleshall’s response car but since January also crewing High Dependence ambulances, taking urgent cases into hospital, relieving pressure on our brilliant front line A&E crews (to which the whole of the West Midlands owes a massive thank you).

Although we have reduced the overall number of activations, ALL of the jobs we have attended are now classed as cat 1 or 2, life-threatening, priority calls.  As a team, we have had as many calls within the 80 sq miles covered as any other team and far more than the majority within the whole of the 5000 sq miles covered by the West Midlands (something we are very proud of)

During this time Eccleshall Responders have received a number of chief officers commendations and letters of thanks for not just the times we have assisted in the saving of lives but, just as importantly, when we have made a difference to a patient’s family’s outcome.

We have also been assisting in the training of some 400 new and existing responders up to the new national recognised qualification taught in the ambulance service’s  National Academy, by the same tutors and to the same standards as every member of the ambulance service.  We have also been assisting team members from our friends and neighbouring teams in Stone, Gnosall and Loggerheads (a very warm welcome Steve and Hannah)

It is a great shame that Martin has had to stand down from active responding through damaging his back (lifting too many sick patients) but he has moved over to the vitally important role carried out by our committee in raising funds, maintaining AED’s,  public awareness and many other roles.  A massive thank you goes out to him for his 15 years of service, usually 3000 hours a year, serving the people of Eccleshall.  Party to follow when covid safe!

The team are averaging some 450 hours a month assisting the very overstretched Ambulance service this year BUT if you can help in any way by coming forward as a  responder or joining the fund-raising committee or contributing in any other way, please feel free to contact any member of the team.

Rest assured we will be doing as many hours as we can during the festive period but in the nicest way we hope we don’t HAVE  to meet you.

Steve Harris

Scheme co-ordinator