Dane Valley CFR in Severe Snowy Weather

Dane Valley Community First Responders

Dane Valley Community First Responders are a team of volunteers trained by the West Midlands Ambulance Service to attend local 999 emergency calls and deal with a range of potentially life-threatening conditions until an ambulance crew arrives.

Ambulance crews may take as long as 30 or 40 minutes to reach our local communities in a 999 emergency. A local First Responder can get to a patient in need within minutes, to administer life-saving or stabilising treatment, and to provide support to the ambulance crew when they arrive on scene.

Our team of volunteer local First Responders operate as part of a rota system from our own homes. We have our own dedicated response vehicle equipped with essential first aid and medical kit including an automated external defibrillator (AED).

We can be dispatched as a local response team at the same time as the ambulance crew to attend 999 emergency calls in Rushton, Meerbrook, Swythamley, Danebridge, Wincle, Heaton, Bosley and beyond.

In addition, we work with our local communities and parishes to install life-saving AED machines (automated external defibrillators) in key locations including: Royal Oak Pub Rushton, Meerbrook Village Hall, the Swythamley Centre and Wincle School and Brewery.

Our team of First Responders come from all walks of life; each one volunteers as much or as little of his or her time in order to fit around existing work and family commitments, and all agree that being a Responder is a fulfilling way to support our local communities.

The Responders team hold regular Heart Start meetings in the community. The training is supported by the British Heart Foundation usually lasting approximately two hours and is free. All family members are welcome. Interest in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is generally low and this is perhaps accounts for the very low incidence of bystander CPR in the UK.

CPR Methodology

There’s no doubt that inclusion of rescue breaths in the CPR process is a point of much discussion. We know that if there can be a fast response to a cardiac arrest, such as happens in London, then rescue breaths reduce bystander intervention and reduce the amount of time spent on providing compressions when CPR is provided by a single person. Therefore, they are often not taught.

However, in locations such as ours, Emergency Service response times will exceed 15-20 minutes, simply because of the geography. Under these circumstances, then rescue breaths do have a beneficial effect and we do teach this skill on the Heart Start Course.


As a community service of dedicated volunteers and supporters we rely entirely upon the generosity of individuals and businesses within our local communities who make donations, provide sponsorship, and support our fundraising activities to enable us to meet our running costs.

If you would like to make a donation (either cash, or a cheque made payable to Dane Valley Community First Responders) you can contact us on our contact form on the Heart Start page.

Please consider coming along to our next meeting. Details will be in the Link journal.


“The First Responders are beneficial to the community and we cannot praise them enough for all the good they do. They attended our 999 medical emergency, arriving swiftly and providing medical attention as well as putting us at our ease.”

“First Responders are a good organization, quick to respond because they know the area well. They have helped our family during several medical emergencies, for which we are extremely grateful.”