Community First Responders This website provides detailed information on the Community First Responder (CFR) volunteers that work for the South Central Ambulance Service NHS trust.
What is a Responder? A Community First Responder or CFR, is a member of the public, trained by the ambulance service, who volunteers to help in their community by responding to 999 calls and medical emergencies before the arrival of the emergency ambulance.

Responder Training

Anyone who wants to help their community can become a Community First Responder. No previous medical experience or training is necessary although you will need a caring attitude and be able to cope with potentially distressing situations. The trust will also carry out an enhanced criminal records bureau check to ensure that the applicant is of sound character, and you must have a full driving licence and your own car, which must be suitably taxed and insured. You will also need to obtain written permission from your car insurance company permitting you to attend incidents as a Community First Responder.

Community First Responders are trained in the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), oxygen therapy and how to assist with a wide range of potentially life threatening conditions such as heart attack and asthma. This initial training is provided by qualified instructors from the South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust and takes place over weekends and evenings.

All participants are assessed throughout the course and will sit a short test before being able to act as a Responder. Once qualified, Community First Responders continue training and are required to re-qualify every six months.

CFR's are also encouraged to go out with their local ambulance crew as observers, this not only allows the CFR to observe how the professionals handle a given situation, but also provides familiarisation with ambulance equipment and procedures; a CFR's work doesn't always finish once the ambulance crew arrives: very often the crew will be grateful of an extra pair of hands and the CFR will find themselves assisting the ambulance crew until the patient is stable and ready for transport to hospital.