Steyning Area First Responders (SAFeR) – supporting the local community

SAFeR has 12 volunteers based in the local community who are trained in the latest life saving techniques and led by Christine Peters. Alerted by the local ambulance service where a 999 call indicates there is a risk to life, the volunteers are prepared to get to the scene of the crisis as rapidly as they can; in the case of a cardiac arrest, time is of the essence. Living nearby, SAFeR volunteers can start providing essential care to the patient while an ambulance is still en-route. While the team aims to offer as wide a range of coverage as possible, unfortunately, there will be times when a Responder is not available.

SAFeR provides support and equipment to its volunteers. Each volunteer carries a defibrillator as well as other important medical equipment. The charity also provides a number of public access defibrillators for emergency use. These are located in telephone boxes in Steyning High Street, The Street Bramber, Hyde Square Upper Beeding and Wiston. It has also installed defibrillators in the Steyning Centre, Steyning Grammar School, Ashington Village Hall and at Ashurst Village Hall. For a number of years SAFeR has offered training in life saving techniques to students at Steyning Grammar School and similar training for those interested at events such as Steyning Showcase and the Steyning Arts Show. It has also supported the provision of emergency bottles which can be kept in the fridge and filled with important medical information that responders and paramedics need to know.

As a charity, SAFeR receives funds only from donations. If you would like to find out more about SAFeR please see our website:

If you would like to make a donation, this can be done by emailing

Coronavirus - Covid 19
SAFeR’s team of volunteers has been stood down by the ambulance service as they don’t have the necessary protective equipment and training to deal with patients who could be suffering from the Covid-19 virus. However, a number of the volunteers are continuing to support the valuable work done by the ambulance service at this time. Some are making themselves available to take the temperatures of ambulance staff before and after shifts as part of the service’s virus testing regime, while others are using their vehicles to collect and deliver much needed supplies for the paramedics.

Until such time as the volunteers can resume their normal duties, SAFeR continues to service the Public Access Defibrillators located in the old telephone boxes in High Street, Steyning, The Street Bramber and Hyde Square Upper Beeding. There is a specific process in place to control the use of these Public Access Devices. The use of a Public Access Defibrillator will be initiated by the Ambulance Service only when the 999 operator is satisfied that certain conditions are present and that a defibrillator is needed.

A summary of this process is set out below:
Incident happens: the patient has collapsed suddenly, is unconscious or not breathing, or has gone a funny colour
Call 999 - ask for 'ambulance': please note the BT Operator does not know the location of the defibrillators and so you must get through to the ambulance control team

Answer any questions they ask you: for example: Is the patient breathing? Are they conscious?

Start Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR): If you are able to do so, undertake chest compressions, but not mouth to mouth resuscitation

Fetch the defibrillator if asked to do so:
A code for the locked cabinet will be given by ambulance control. Open the cabinet and take out the defibrillator. Open the defibrillator and follow the instructions given by the recorded voice in the machine.

Return the defibrillator to the cabinet after the rescue is over:
Data needs to be downloaded and the defibrillator recommissioned. Please ring the telephone number on the outside of the defibrillator and tell SAFeR the defibrillator has been used and is back in place.
Share this article

Content Managed by Your SteyningCrafted by Scaws