3PR  Three Parishes Response

Community First Responder (CFR) Schemes are a partnership between the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, local Community First Responder (CFR) Groups and individual volunteers within the community who are individual members of those groups.

Community First Responder schemes (CFR) comprise of members of the public who volunteer to assist the Ambulance Service in their local community by attending emergency calls within an agreed radius of where they live or work and provide basic emergency care whilst an ambulance or paramedic is en route to the patient.

As an example of how time-critical emergency intervention can be, the chance of survival of a patient in cardiac arrest if de-fibrillated immediately is 85%., with the odds decreasing by 10% for every minute that passes with no treatment. Early de-fibrillation is therefore a crucial potentially life-saving intervention which Community First Responders can perform whilst the ambulance is on its way. Community First responders are also trained to administer Oxygen therapy, which, in a patient who is experiencing a heart attack may alleviate their chest pain, and improve the patient’s outcome.

3PR was originally set up following a meeting on 18th February 2002 and a further meeting at Stargate (old congregational church) on 20th February 2002.  Strategy and training were formulated at a meeting on 7th march 2002.  The name 3PR encompasses the three parishes Boxford, Edwardstone and Groton.

The initial cost to set up was nearly £4000, this was raised by donations from private individuals, grant from the British Heart Foundation, Waitrose Sudbury, local Parish Councils, local committees and trusts. Running costs are relatively low, group members opt to provide their transport and fuel free of charge. The group receive no direct funding so any donations are gratefully received.

Group training was originally carried out by St. John Ambulance through a three day course and topped up by the local East of England Ambulance Service paramedic Andrew Barlow who held monthly training sessions at Boxford School Hall.

The first call for the group was 6/9/2002 using a borrowed de-fibrillator, the group purchasing their first de-fibrillator on 11 November 2002.

Since then the group have had a fair turn round of volunteers and answered many hundreds of calls. There are still three founder members, two still responding and one involved with the group as Life President and recruitment contact.

Vic Rice was the original Co-ordinator resigning in 2011 and accepting the honour of Life President. Some of his duties were then split up and are carried out by various members.

There are in excess of 70 responder groups in Suffolk. Initial training is now carried out by The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, the training courses are still three day events. The EEAS have a dedicated training Officer Trevor Hammond and a Community Partnership Manager Jonathan Needle both based at Felixstowe Ambulance Station.  Volunteer trainers have been trained up to carry out monthly update training within the responder locations.

Other counties have similar arrangements, East of England Ambulance Service covers Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire.

3PR  train with the Elmsett and Hadleigh Groups alternating the venues each month. Our training takes place at Groton Village Hall, usually the third Monday of the month when we train at home. Other training dates vary.

We are trained in Basic Life Support, use of a de-fibrillator, pulse oximeter and use of Oxygen together with other related subjects and general first aid.

Emergency calls, if suitable, are directed to the group mobile phone from EOC (Emergency Operations Control) based in Norwich. Members volunteer to respond according to their personal life commitments. A rota is drawn up each month and contained in the operations book accompanying the responder kit.

The group is managed by a committee of former responders (bar one) and a coordinator (chair) who links with Community Partnership Manajer.

Chair             Peter Hibben

Secretary     Marlene Clarke

Treasurer     Jane Wood

Committee  Edward Kench

Committee  Tina Loose

Life President  Vic Rice – recruitment                        01787 210504


Active Responders are:-

Peter Hibben               Co-ordinator               01787 210819

Elaine Carpenter

Elisabeth D’Astur

Nick Tribe

Ben Woodfield

Sandra Perry

If anybody feels they would like to find out more or join us then please contact Vic Rice or Peter Hibben for a chat with no obligation.