There are 30 new first responders on the streets of Strandfontein, thanks to an initiative by the local Community Policing Forum.The Strandfontein CPF Capacity Building Phase 3 saw the volunteers complete the Emergency First Aid Responder (EFAR) training in May.The CPF identified the need to equip and empower the volunteer crime fighters and partnered with the Metro EMS Southern Division under the leadership of Jakob van Zyl. A total of 30 volunteers comprising neighbourhood watch, ECD and five youth at risk candidates, were trained. “Because the active patrollers are usually first at an accident scene, this enables them to assist victims. As first responders it is vital to assess and cordon off the scenes to allow for police to do the rest but now they are able to assist with emergency first aid which could save a life,” says CPF chairperson, Sandy Schuter. The Strandfontein CPF opened the training opportunity to the volunteer safety structures within the local precinct consisting of San Remo, Bayview, the informal settlements and the greater Strandfontein patrollers.“The volunteers are the ones sacrificing their time and effort day and night and I have seen the need when attending to accident scenes, while we have to wait on EMS to arrive, so we decided to capacitate our own community structures. Each and every member that attended the course completed the training and each one received a certificate of accreditation,” says Schuter.“It is not there to replace emergency services but they are now able to provide triage assistance up until EMS arrives. I have been a first aider for many years and I often go for refresher courses and it comes in handy when you are on the scene first. You can do the basic things to stop bleeding, especially with stab wounds or at accident scenes.” Their hope is to roll the project out further in the area.“We are hoping to make this something of substance by utilising the EFAR members more often. At this point we are looking for sponsorship for identification for the members which could be jackets or bibs and replenishing items so they can be identifiable and follow through with what needs to be done until EMS arrives. They can then give a wrap of the situation,” says Schuter.The CPF hopes to acquire reflector vests or arm bands and first aid kits so the 30 volunteers can be easily identified.The forum congratulated the volunteers for their good results.“We are grateful to our partners at Camp Joy for allowing us free usage of their hall to empower our community volunteers. We also want to thank Mr. van Zyl and his training team,” says Schuter.