Haverhill first responders trained to help younger children

David Halsey (left) welcomes the new training
David Halsey (left) welcomes the new training
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Younger children will receive first aid in emergencies with paediatric training being offered to Haverhill’s first responders.

Haverhill Community First Responders, a group of first aid volunteers trained to respond to emergency situations, will be receiving training in paediatrics in the coming weeks.

Currently, first responders are only trained to deal with children over the age of eight. The new training will equip volunteers with the skills to attend to children as young as two years old.

It is hoped that all the volunteers will be fully trained by the beginning of February.

David Halsey, of Haverhill Community First Responders, welcomed the training.

He said: “The ambulance service has introduced this training. They know that first responders need to be able to attend people as young as two.

“What’s happening is we all go through training, including how to respond to breathing problems or injuries with younger patients.

“We need to be able to identify different conditions which may show different symptoms in young patients than in adults.

“We have to be able to look after young patients properly.

“Every volunteer will have the training to bring us in line with the ambulance service and what they expect.

“It is different from how an adult would need a response. We need to identify symptoms.

“If we were called to help someone younger than eight, we would do what we could, but we would have to wait for the ambulance service to get there.

“This affects how quickly help can arrive. With the training, though, we will be able to improve our knowledge and deal with more events as they arise.

“We will be able to help more people in Haverhill.”

The paediatrics training is part of a range of further training being offered to the first responders.

The volunteers are also being given airways training which will help them to manage respiratory conditions.

“At the moment, we give people 100 per cent oxygen straight away,” said Mr Halsey. “Again, this training will help us improve our skills.”