Community First Responders

Community First Responders

What kind of emergencies do Community First Responders (CFR) attend?

CFRs attend particular types of emergencies where it is essential for the patient to receive immediate life-saving care. This includes conditions such as:

  • cardiac arrest;
  • chest pain;
  • breathing difficulties;
  • unconscious patients;
  • fitting patients;
  • patients suffering from a stroke.

We also have CFRs who have undergone additional lifting training, who carry lifting chairs, enabling them to attend patients who have fallen and who are uninjured but who are unable to get up off of the floor.

CFRs are not sent to particular types of incidents, due to concerns for their personal safety - these include:

  • road traffic collisions;
  • incidents involving excess drugs or alcohol whereby there may be a risk to the volunteer’s safety.

You do not need any previous medical training to become a CFR. SWASFT currently has a whole host of people available to save lives in their local community, including nurses, engineers, postal workers and teachers. You do need:

  • a full driving licence with less than 6 penalty points;
  • good interpersonal and communication skills;
  • the ability to observe and accurately record details;
  • the ability to take the lead and remain calm in pressured situations;
  • level of fitness to deliver cardiopulmonary resuscitation as a sole responder;
  • ability to complete theoretical training to the required national academic level (level 3).

What does the recruitment process involve?

When becoming a CFR, you complete:

  • an online application form via NHS Jobs;
  • an Occupational Health Screening check, including undergoing a vaccination program for any mandatory vaccinations not already held (HepatitisB);
  • an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check.

You will then be invited for interview where we can find out more about your suitability for this role and your understanding of the requirements. If successful you will be invited to an initial training course, which is a level 3 Futurequals qualification. On this course you will be given the foundations for the role and taught subjects that include:

  • patient assessment;
  • respiration and airway management;
  • basic life support;
  • defibrillation;
  • circulation and shock;
  • medical related emergencies;
  • trauma related emergencies;
  • the pre-hospital environment.

You will be required to achieve some organisational induction training including:

  • Conflict resolution;
  • Information Governance;
  • Safeguarding of vulnerable children and adults.

It is important to remember that attending people in critical, life-threatening situations can be upsetting. However, the SWASFT Volunteering and Community Services department makes sure there is someone to help 24 hours a day with additional support from the Trust's Staying Well service.

How can I find out more?

If you live in the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust area and would like to know more about becoming a Community First Responder at work or from home please visit our volunteer recruitment page.