Volunteer emergency first responders serving a new community in Bedfordshire will be able to save more lives after a donation from a leading land promoter and developer paid for a full set of vital equipment.

The Ampthill and Flitwick Community First Responders of the East of England Ambulance Service has been provided with a set of brand-new emergency kit including a defibrillator, observation equipment, oxygen delivery equipment, and more, by L&Q Estates.

It will allow the small team of volunteers to better serve the population of Wixams, a major new town to the south of Bedford where L&Q Estates is the master developer.

Community First Responders are trained volunteers who can be called upon to reach emergency medical situations before ambulance crews arrive, and provide immediate assistance such as CPR if it is needed.

They can also recommend standing down ambulances if the situation is not as severe as first thought, or indeed escalate the need if patients are in dire need of an ambulance.

Joe Bowen of the Ampthill and Flitwick Community First Responders said: “We’re incredibly grateful to the team at L&Q Estates for this donation, as we are 100 per cent reliant on the generosity of others for our funding.

“Community First Responders aren’t quite as well-known as similar charities such as the Air Ambulance, as we’re on the ground rather than in helicopters, but we perform a similar function for the ambulance service and can often make the difference between life and death.

“However, there’s only five of us in our patch and we’re not always available at the same time due to our status as volunteers.

“This donation from L&Q Estates will allow us to serve Wixams, a denser part of Bedfordshire, much more reliably, and should give residents peace of mind that help will be there when it is needed.

“It will genuinely make such a big difference to our day-to-day operations, and it’s an example that other developers should follow.”

Tom Barker, Community Response Manager, said: “Community First Responder teams such as the one at Wixams provide an essential role in being first on-scene at emergencies during those vital minutes while ambulance crews are on their way.

“This equipment will make them even more effective at being able to provide potentially life-saving first-responder care.”
Richard Edwards, Group Land and Planning Director at L&Q Estates, added: “When building entirely new communities such as Wixams, it is crucial that we do everything we can as master developers to protect the people who live here.

“The Community First Responder team do a fantastic job in and around Bedfordshire, so we felt a donation to pay for a new set of emergency kit would make a key difference not only to their volunteers, but the current and future residents of Wixams.

“Although we hope their services do not need to be used too much, it’s important for us to provide the team with the tools they need to better save lives.”

As master developers of Wixams, L&Q Estates has provided £8.8 million of funding towards the creation of Wixams Tree Primary School and Wixams Academy Secondary School which are now fully operational.

It has also invested over £96 million in infrastructure which has included improvements to the A6, the remediation of the former bomb-making factory land at Elstow Storage Depot and creating a number of lakes as well as other environmental improvements. L&Q Estates has also made a significant contribution towards the delivery of a railway station, which is currently being project managed by Bedford Borough Council.

The firm has also provided 2.4m sq ft of warehousing in the Northern Expansion Area which has created over 1,200 jobs in a site next to the main Wixams development.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to The Ampthill and Flitwick Community First Responders is able to do so at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/flitwickcfrgroup?utm_source=offline&utm_medium=qrcode&utm_term=95367ff76e684f12a8574f1e47fd2467

Caption: From the left, Ampthill and Flitwick Community First Responders Steve Angell, Tom Barker, Joe Bowen and Leon Rowson with Natasha Brand (centre) from L&Q Estates