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Community first responders (CFRs) respond to local emergency calls and provide life saving first aid in those vital minutes before an ambulance arrivesSt John Ambulance community first responder volunteer

Community first responders are trained to assess the situation, providing immediate first aid if needed, and establish the patient’s previous medical history. Sometimes they can simply be a very vital second pair of hands to an ambulance crew when they arrive.

As well as basic first aid equipment, they carry automated external defibrillators (AEDs), and are trained and equipped to provide oxygen therapy.

Having someone in the community who has been trained in first aid and can reach the patient quickly makes all the difference.

In 2014, our community first responders attended 10,000 emergency call outs

The schemes operate as a community partnership between St John Ambulance and local ambulance service trusts. We have over 300 community first responders volunteering in communities across England.

Volunteers operate as part of a rota system from their own home or place of work. They are dispatched at the same time as an ambulance via ambulance control to attend Category A 'immediately life-threatening' calls. These calls can include:

  • • cardiac arrest
  • • diabetic emergency
  • • unresponsive patient
  • • breathing difficulties
  • • seizures

Interested in volunteering as a community first responder?


Community First Responders, is a part of South Central Ambulance Foundation Trust which covers Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Hampshire.  

These volunteers are members of the local community that respond to 999 life threatening emergencies in their local community whilst an Ambulance is on its way.  This life saving initiative has been running for many years but we struggle to recruit volunteers as we have no funds for advertising.   All training and insurances are provided via the ambulance service.


Please visit their website www.southcentralambulance.nhs.uk


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This site was updated on
2nd May 2018


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