Pewsey Vale’s Community First Responders get their very own 'Raizer Chairs'
Late last year the South Western Ambulance Service’s charity arm asked if Pewsey Community Area Partnership (PCAP) would help raise funds for a “Raizer Chair” for the area's volunteer Community First Responders Team (CFR) team. After reviewing information about the chairs, they decided this was a worthwhile project that would benefit local residents directly.
Designed and made in Denmark, the Raizer is a state of the art, battery operated mobile lifting chair that mechanically raises a person who has fallen almost to a standing position within a few minutes. A Raizer is simple to assemble, can be operated by one person and does not require any physical effort - apart from a supportive hand.
Three months later and they have successfully funded not one but two Raizer lifting chairs for the CFR Team that covers the Pewsey Vale and its villages. The funds have come from the Wiltshire Council Pewsey Area Board Health and Well-Being Fund - £2,000, The Friends of Savernake Hospital - £2,690 and a dozen or so local Parish Councils that contributed over £1,300.
Who is most at risk of falling?
Women are more likely to fall than men. By applying existing research to Wiltshire residents, we can expect that 39 per cent of women and 24 per cent of men living independently are likely to fall during any one year. This equates to 17,808 women and 8,241 men in Wiltshire.
The incidence of falling also increases with increasing age. So 22 per cent of people who live in the community aged 65 to 69 years fall annually. This increases to 39 per cent for those aged 70 to 84 years and to greater than 41 per cent for those older than 85 years.
The South Western Ambulance Service (SWAST) covers one of the most rural areas of the UK and they are committed to providing the population of the South West with the highest standard of out-of-hospital care. But during busy periods they have to prioritise calls and falls in the home where there are no obvious injuries, sometimes have a long wait.
SWAST are extremely grateful to the many Community First Responders who volunteer to help members of their local community in their time of need. SWAST do provide support and training for CFRs as they value the support service they offer.
Every day, Responders from across the South West attend emergencies within their local communities. Sometimes providing reassurance before an ambulance arrives and sometimes saving someone's life. Our own local Community First Responders are volunteers who support their local community by attending emergency calls ahead of an ambulance.
As the first on the scene they may help to decide the urgency of the call. SWAST believe this equipment will be very useful in saving an ambulance call where the patient with no injuries only requires assistance getting upright again.
Dawn Wilson is Chair of PCAP: "In any event I am sure the person on the floor would rather be off it sooner rather than later! And don’t forget falls can mean ambulance call outs to residential care homes as well as sheltered housing facilities. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support."