Pauline Chapman - Croydon volunteer profile

Purley Community First Responder Pauline ChapmanPauline Chapman is a volunteer with the community first responder scheme in Purley.

Why did you want to be a volunteer?

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 sign up!

What do you do for a living?

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 Chaplain.

What hours are you on duty?

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 shift?

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 calls.

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 you attended?

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.

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