First responders in Ilfracombe have been given a funding boost to improve their patient care and free up ambulances.

Ilfracombe Responders team leader Jonathan Davies with fellow responder Sean Wood. Picture: ContributedIlfracombe Responders team leader Jonathan Davies with fellow responder Sean Wood. Picture: Contributed

The South Western Ambulance Service Charity (SWAC) has been awarded £2,235 for Ilfracombe Community First Responders from Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme.

The money will provide lifting devices for responders to use on patients who have had falls without an injury but are unable to get up.

It will also allow the purchase of medical equipment such as blood pressure monitors and thermometers.

It is hoped the equipment will free up ambulances for higher priority calls.

Ryan Ware, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust’s community responder officer for Devon, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding which will enable us to further support the local community in a robust and safe way. The new equipment we can now purchase will be a great investment for Ilfracombe.

“Our volunteers give their time freely to help support SWASFT and our patients; and this funding will help them to provide more enhanced care for those in need. Thank you to everyone who voted for us.”

Community First Responders are trained volunteers who attend emergency incidents on behalf of the ambulance service in the community.

They respond to particular types of 999 calls where it is essential for the patient to receive immediate lifesaving care.