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At least three survivors during the first year thanks to the CPR network Westland

13 February 2017

The municipal branch of the CRP Network operates under the slogan ‘Make Westland CPR-proof’. And its results are good right out of the gates: in the first year, at least three people survived cardiac arrest in part thanks to first response.

Fire brigade

Arie Camfferman had been working for the fire brigade in the Westland for seventeen years; Frenk van Wetering still works there. They know each other well but did not know that on the exact same day, within two hours of each other, both contacted the CPR network to give first response in their municipality a boost. Now they enthusiastically work together on the CRP network Westland.

First responders

“The first thing was to find first responders”, Frenk tells us. The municipality gave the CPR network Westland contact information for first aid associations and Arie called the people in those associations personally. “After all, you’re looking for people with the same feel for first response”, he explains.

the CRP network Westland

The two initiators collected other enthusiastic people, and two years after the founding of the CRP network Westland, it has 240 first responders. That is a respectable number, but not enough yet, because the founders are aiming for 350 to 400 first responders in the municipality. One of the ways of recruiting them is spreading photo cards with the caption ‘Sign up as volunteer’.

Resuscitating

“We often see that many people who can resuscitate, do not want to be called out”, says Frenk. “Our view is that many people find it scary. Some are afraid of making mistakes, others dread the idea of working in life-or-death situations.”

Local

Stan the CPR network Westland uses a local approach, where first responders know each other, in part thanks to joint meetings. The aim is to create a close-knit network with a ‘district head’ in each of the nine villages in the municipality. “Direct connections and short ties give first responders the feeling they have somewhere to turn to”, Arie tells us. “That they know each other, and are there for each other.”

AEDs

While recruiting first responders, the CPR network Westland also started work on setting up an AED network for public use. Of the approximately 150 AEDs in the municipality, there are now 46 in the CPR network, many of them from businesses. One problem is that many of them are behind closed doors and so are only available during those businesses’ opening hours.

Available 24/7

“Protective casings are pricey and we don’t want to put companies to great expense”, Frank says. “But we still need 24/7 available AEDs in strategic locations throughout the community. Through various funds we are trying to acquire the necessary resources, and the political party “Westland Verstandig” even made it a part of their election campaign.” That party is now the second largest in the municipality.

Recognisable

The CPR network Westland is also committed to spreading the word on first responders among professional emergency services, like the police and fire brigade. Thanks to this familiarity – and the recognisable CPR network Westland green vest, purchased with money from a municipal contribution – first responders are now recognised and acknowledged by police officers and fire fighters. So the CPR network to achieve significant things in this municipality. Frenk: “But we’re not there by a long shot, there is still a long way to go”.