Community first responders
Role of the Community First Responder
Community First Responders are an integral part of patient care within the Trust. They are volunteers, trained and dispatched by North East Ambulance Service to deal with emergencies prior to the arrival of an ambulance. They are dispatched at the same time as an ambulance but may arrive first as they are nearer, and can provide early interventions in those crucial first minutes of an emergency. They will deal with a specific list of emergencies, providing care and support to both the patient and their family.
They attend medical emergencies as well as cardiac arrests, where someone’s heart has stopped beating. Responders operate across the whole of the north east in both rural and urban areas, and are a crucial part of the Chain of Survival.
There are three types of Responder within the Trust:
1. Community First Responders will generally be asked to respond to emergency calls within a six miles radius of their location. They are alerted to the emergency call via a pager system, which uses GPS to track location.
2. Co-Responders are 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. Staff Responders work for the Trust in various capacities but also respond in their spare time outside work. They can also be activated from work in times of high pressure.
Each type of responder has the same aim: to provide immediate care to a patient where every second counts.
Meet some of our CFRs
11years ago Gloria volunteered to be a CFR for NEAS. She says, “I believe that if we all give a little and help someone in their time of need the world would be a better place. Knowing you have helped someone, saving their life, speaking a kind word, giving a smile, holding their hand and listening is something that no amount of money can buy, but it can make a whole difference to the person on the receiving end.”
Sue Bainbridge has been putting her skills to community use where she operates as a CFR and life-saving skills trainer. Having joined the North East Ambulance Service’s army of volunteers over 5 years ago, Sue has delivered awareness sessions on how to use a defibrillator and deliver CPR to over 200 local people. She explains her defining moment since becoming a CFR being when a neighbour brought her choking child to the door in a panic for help and Sue was able to bravely clear his airway.