Community First Responders

Role of the Community First Responder

A First Responder is a volunteer who has been recruited and trained to act on behalf of the North East Ambulance Service, responding to emergency calls when dispatched by ambulance control.  They will deal with a specific list of emergencies and provide the patient with support and appropriate treatment until an ambulance arrives.

They exist in towns and villages where it may be a challenge for the emergency ambulance to arrive within the crucial first few minutes.

First Responder Training









There are three types of First Responders:

  1. Community First Responders (CFR) will respond to emergency calls within a three miles radius of their home. After being alerted by NEAS, they will attend incidents such as heart attacks, respiratory arrest, chest pains, and many more. 
  2. Co-Responders are responders from an existing public service (e.g. police, fire, military etc.)  Their training is the same as a Community First Responder.  They are available for emergency calls while carrying out their regular work duties.
  3. Established Base Responders (static sites) are employees in a public place, trained to use life saving equipment within the property (usually a defibrillator).   Examples of where you might find EBRs include airports, railway stations and shopping centres.

Each type of responder has the same aim: to provide immediate care to a patient where every second counts.  The evidence is clear; a patient who suffers a cardiac arrest stands a much better chance of survival if a fully trained person with a defibrillator can attend the patient in the first minutes of collapse.

The following sequence of events has become known as the "Chain of Survival"

  • Early Access (to activate the emergency services)
  • Early Basic Life Support (CPR Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation)
  • Early Defibrillation (an electric shock to restart the heart)
  • Early Advanced Care (paramedic intervention)

Chain of Survival

Community First Responders are an integral and valued link in the 'Chain of Survival' in areas that experience an extended journey time, as they can provide essential simple treatments in those crucial first few minutes prior to the arrival of the Ambulance.

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