Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do Community First Responders replace Ambulances?

    NO, as with the 'Chain of Survival', Community First Responders can provide the early CPR & Defibrillation but in order to complete the sequence and increase the patient's chance of survival, Early Advanced Care, i.e. a NEAS Ambulance response is always called first before dispatching the nearest first responder. CFR's do not replace the ambulance service, but simply attempt to preserve life and promote recovery until the ambulance service arrive.

  • Will an ambulance always be dispatched at the same time as a Community First Responder?

    Yes. The nearest available ambulance resource will always back up a CFR.  

  • Do you have to use your own car?

    Yes. This car must be immediately available and be insured, taxed, MOT’d and NEAS will check responder’s vehicle documents and driving licence to confirm this during the recruitment process.

  • Are Community First Responders exempt from any driving laws?

    No, CFR's will drive under normal conditions and adhere to the Highway Code, they will not be exempt from any driving laws.

  • Do Community First Responders use ‘Blues & Twos’ when responding?

    No. Community First Responders have a sun visor sign showing in their front windscreen, however these are only there as an indicator when parking up at incidents. On no occasion will Community First Responders be driving with blue lights or sirens when acting on behalf on the North East Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

  • Do First Responders have a uniform?

    They will be dressed in normal clothing, however they will have a branded polo shirt, hi-vis jacket or waistcoats to identify themselves. In addition they will carry NEAS identification badges which they will show wear on arrival.

  • Who manages the First responders?

    First Responders in the North East Ambulance Service region are trained, controlled and deployed by the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS). The NEAS First Responder Management Team have overall responsibility for the First Responders and are available to offer support and advice.

  • What Training does a First Responders Receive?

    All First Responders will undergo a 2 day training course, plus additional mandatory training such as Conflict Resolution and  Statutory and Mandatory Training.

  • What are the training commitments?

    Community First Responders must be willing and able to commit to attending refresh training which is every 6 months as well as any other training the NEAS see as appropriate.

  • What equipment do Community First Responders use?

    The North East Ambulance Service will identify items of equipment the Community First Responder scheme will require, this is generally: Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) - to provide life saving treatment in certain heart conditions: Suction Device – to assist with resuscitation Car Sun Visor Signs High Visibility Jackets/waistcoats Mobile Telephone Oxygen Gas Delivery System Branded Polo shirts Responder Bag - a well stocked first aid kit   NEAS will provide CFR's with the above equipment

  • What type of incidents do Community First Responders get sent to? What is the criteria for deployment of a Community First Responder?

    First responders are trained in BASIC emergency life saving first aid. First Responders are generally only dispatched to life threatening emergencies such as heart attacks, breathing difficulties, chest pains, medical collapse and unconsciousness not due to trauma - i.e. where every second counts in restoring the patient to health

  • What type of incidents do Community First Responders NOT get sent to?

    As Community First Responders are volunteers they will generally not knowingly be sent to: Assaults or incidents of a violent nature Incidents in a public house Road traffic collisions Children under the age of 16 years old Traumatic Injuries These types of incidents are generally considered not appropriate to send volunteers to.

  • Do Community First Responders receive any payment?

    No. All community first responders are volunteers. NEAS support them by providing training and equipment.

  • Do we need Community First Responders (CFR) everywhere?

    Our resources are limited and we are actively targeting particular geographical areas that would benefit from having a CFR Scheme.

  • Who will have the time to be a First Responder?

    Generous volunteers who can commit time to be available when they are at home or at their workplace. Some people manage every evening, whereas some manage only weekends.

  • What are the requirements to be a Community First Responder?

    A first responder needs to be fully committed to the aims; objectives and constitution of the scheme which simply put are to provide the highest standard of First Responder service to their community.

  • How are Community First Responders Alerted to an Emergency?

    First Responders are dispatched by the NEAS Ambulance control  who will identify incidents that are appropriate for the First Responder to attend, they will contact the relevant First Responder via a mobile phone or land line to ask if they are available to respond. 

  • Do Community First Responder have to be on ‘Stand by’?

    We do not expect the number of calls to warrant responders being on standby.  You should be able to carry on with your normal activities, knowing that if the phone goes then you will need to get to your car as soon as possible.

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