TEN new First Responders have been recruited and trained to boost a life-saving support service in four Monmouthshire towns.

Newly qualified volunteer Community First Responders (CFRs) for Monmouth, Usk, Abergavenny and Chepstow have been trained up by the Welsh Ambulance Service to provide vital back-up for frontline ambulance services.

CFRs do not replace or alter the normal response of paramedics, but support a patient until an ambulance or Rapid Response Vehicle arrives. They can provide key early help for cardiac arrest patients, while basic first aid skills prevent patients with potentially life-threatening conditions from deteriorating.

There are more than 1,000 volunteer CFRs working day and night in Wales, and CFR officer Tony Rossetti said CFR schemes are "hugely beneficial" in helping provide the best possible pre-hospital care for patients.

"It's wonderful to see such enthusiastic volunteers in Monmouthshire and to see so many people eager to make what might possibly be a life-saving difference, within their own communities, he said.

To become a CFR you must be over 18 years of age, physically fit, and hold a clean UK driving licence. Applicants must successfully complete more than 30 hours of training, and will also need to undergo a Criminal Records Bureau check and Occupational Health check before being registered.

Anyone interested in becoming a CFR may call 01633 626262 or 029 2093 2917, e-mail amb_first.responder.south@wales.nhs.uk or visit www.ambulance.wales.uk