Community First Reponders 

Who are Community First Responders (CFR's)?

CFR's are volunteers who provide immediate care to those in their community who have fallen ill.  The CFR's are dispatched by the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb).

CFR's are trained to attend emergency calls received by the Ambulance Service, and give life-saving care in the minutes up to when the ambulance arrives. 

Training is provided by the Ambulance Service and covers Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

The aim of the group is to provide a service 24 hours a day 365 days of the year.

What do Community First Responders do?

The main responsibilities are:

  • To attend emergency calls in their area and aim for an 8 minute response time.  CFR's are not allowed to go faster than the normal speed limits when responding to calls
  • To provide appropriate treament prior to the ambulance arriving
  • To document, record and inform the NHS ambulance crew of the patient's condition and any treatment given 
  • To assist the NHS ambulance crew as instructed to
  • To stay with the patient until the NHS ambulance crew have arrived and are happy for them to leave the scene

What does the training involve? 

When you apply to join the scheme we will have a chat with you about your experience and what being a responder means. After that you will be invited to some training session to give you a feel of the skills required. Once you are happy that you want to proceed the various application forms are completed and there will be an interview.  Once you have passed the interview and your CRB check has been completed you will be put on a three day course. 

This does take a long time, and during this you will be invited to attend our monthly group training sessions, attend fundraising and PR events, and generally get to know the rest of the team.

Once you have passed the course you will be given a mentor within the scheme who will attend calls with you and help confirm when you are ready to respond on your own. 

Why do we need Community First Responders?

Dr Richard Cummins, from Seattle, discovered that heart attack victims stand a greater chance of survival if the following events take place:

  • Early Access
  • Early Resuscitation
  • Early Defibrillation
  • Early Advanced Life Support

This is know as the Chain of Survival

CFR's are trained in providing the first three of these events.  Taking these actions can increase the pre-hospital survival  rate to between 20-40%

What can I do to help?

  • Volunteer to be a First Responder
  • Help with fundraising to buy more kits
  • Help with sponsorship
  • Make a donation
  • Help with raising awareness of the scheme within your area
  • If you have encountered First Responders we would love to get your feedback