Pauline Chapman is a volunteer with the community first responder scheme in Purley.
Why did you want to be a
I picked up a leaflet about the community
first responder scheme in my doctor's surgery and thought what an
excellent way of serving the local community, but I didn't think I
would be eligible as I had very little first-aid experience.
At an introductory meeting organised by St
John Ambulance and the London Ambulance Service to publicise the
scheme I received such a warm welcome that I felt encouraged to
What do you do for a
I used to teach children in a pre school but
now work in a voluntary capacity. I am actively involved in
pastoral work at Christ Church, Purley, and am a Lay Chaplain at
Croydon University Hospital and also a Purley town centre
What hours are you on
I try to work as many four hour shifts a month
as I can, usually in the evenings, depending on my other
commitments, but the rota is very flexible.
The evening training meetings twice a month
are a great way of meeting fellow team members and keeping skills
up to date.
How often are you called each
This very much depends on which area you are
covering. Some of my fellow team members have several calls a
shift. I can have one or two, or a very quiet shift with no
During the very bad snow and treacherous roads
last winter I was able to be 'on scene' with patients very quickly
as I lived nearby.
What sort of medical emergencies have
I have been called to a variety of emergencies
including difficulty in breathing, fainting, anaphylactic shock,
stroke, chest pains etc.
The ambulance crews are very friendly and
supportive, and pleased to have 'another pair of hands' to help
with patients or their relatives.