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 the area they are logged on to respond to a medical incident. They are alerted to the emergency call via the National Mobilisation App (NMA), which uses GPS to track location so you could respond in deferent areas depending on your location (e.g. work or home).

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. 

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Meet some of our CFRs

Dunmail Hodkinson

Dunmail Hodkinson

Dunmail began volunteering as a CFR in Newbrough in 2010 and is now one of the CFRs trained to attend to falls patients.

He said: "It’s really satisfying when somebody is ill and the interventions you provide actually makes a difference. It makes you feel appreciated and it gives you confidence in yourself."

Gloria Middleton

Gloria Middleton pic

Gloria has been a CFR for more than 12 years. She says: “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.”

Susan Bainbridge

Sue Bainbridge July 2022

Sue has volunteered in her local community of Middleton in Teesdale for 10 years, having signed up after retiring.

“The difference you can make in the community is huge," she said. "People know what l do and they approach me with problems and I always get thanks from people l have helped."

Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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