LIFESAVING volunteers have been given a boost.

Vodafone UK is to provide South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) with mobile devices and a bespoke app to improve efficiency and response times for its 1,200 Community First Responders (CFRs) and co-responders in the police, fire and military in Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.

CFRs and co-responders are volunteers trained to attend medical emergencies and start lifesaving interventions prior to the arrival of an ambulance.

The Vodafone solution includes a bespoke app and the provision of mobile devices with 4G connectivity which can be securely managed, protecting patient information.

The bespoke app, developed in partnership with CommonTime, enables communication between the CFRS and their office-based control centre.

Community First Responders can log in and report that they are available to respond. When an incident occurs, the closest available responder will be alerted and provided with the exact location, fastest route and incident details. On arrival, they can share critical information about the incident and request additional support from the emergency services. For their safety, CFRs are tracked at all times through GPS.

Nic Morecroft, head of operations – community engagement and training, at SSCAS, said: “We recognise there is a huge opportunity to improve patient care using digital technology. Our partnership with Vodafone highlights how implementing technology solutions can have an immediate and real impact on the service we offer to patients.

"We have already seen improved efficiencies and feedback from our first responders has been extremely positive.”