PERFORMANCE: Volunteer paramedics in the West Midlands responded to more than 400 999 calls last month, it has emerged.

Across the Black Country a 68-strong group of Community First Responders went out to a total of 421 calls to West Midlands Ambulance Service in April.

This included 169 emergency calls in Dudley, 130 in Walsall, 69 in Wolverhampton and 53 in Sandwell.

Community First Responders are volunteers trained by the ambulance service in key lifesaving skills including the use of a defibrillator to help re-start a patient’s heart.

Emma Wilkins, Black Country community response manager, said: “CFRs in the Black Country had an extremely busy month in April. These figures really highlight the excellent work of the volunteers and show the real commitment they have to helping the locals they live amongst in their times of need.”