Pilot project to overcome mobile phone 'not spot' issues for CFRs

Generic CFR pic

As announced during last week’s community first responder (CFR) takeover week, a pilot project has been launched to improve the way volunteer responders are dispatched to medical emergencies.

The Trust has begun trialling the use of digital radios with three CFR groups in areas where there are phone signal issues.

CFRs are usually called on their mobile phones by EOC staff but since last month three groups in Wells, in north Norfolk, East Bergholt, in Suffolk, and Steeple Bumpstead, in Essex, have been trialling the use of handheld digital radios.

Gary Morgan, Head of EOC, said: “We are always looking at ways to improve communications with our volunteer life-savers.

“These are groups that have reported localised mobile phone signal issues and the trial will aim to show if an improvement in both communication and activation time can be achieved through the use of the radio."

CFR Kevin, said: “In the winter, mobile phone signal is fine, but in the summer months and bank holidays we do not get any signal at all. For a CFR that can be demoralising because you are tied to your phone, car and kit when you are logged on.

"With the radio, we don’t have those issues any more. It is really good and you can mobilise so much quicker and slicker. The other advantage is that the radio has GPS tracking and the control room can guide you to an address if you struggling to find it.”

Other CFR groups in Soham, Sudbury and St Albans are also trialling the use of handheld personal digital assistant (PDA) devices to assist them attending 999 calls. The devices use GPS mapping to help find addresses and tells EOC staff how close they are to a medical emergency.

Published 11th June 2015 

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