What are community first responders?
Community first responders are a group of people who ‘volunteer’ to respond to emergency calls on behalf of the East of England Ambulance Service, in the community where they either live or work.
Why do we need your help?
The answer is that it has been recognised that sudden cardiac arrest claims around 150,000 lives each year in the United Kingdom, with survival rates being around 5% outside of a hospital setting.
If a person’s heart has stopped due to an accident, or heart attack and is in a rhythm called ventricular fibrillation, the only way to get the heart into a more regular sustaining beat is to pass an electrical charge through the heart muscle. The first eight minutes are the most vital for the collapsed person and if we can get someone who is trained in first aid and the use of a defibrillator to that patient, then their chances of survival will increase considerably.
How am I contacted and how do I respond?
When a person calls 999, you are notified of the emergency by ambulance control via mobile phone. As you live or work in that area, you should arrive before the ambulance and be able to treat the patient. Once the ambulance crew arrive, you are then able to return to your normal daily routine. The few minutes you have spent with the patient could help to save a life.
You will undergo a comprehensive first aid training that covers basic life support, the use of a defibrillator and oxygen. Following your training course you meet up each month with your Community Responder Group to have ongoing training. All training is delivered by the Ambulance Service.
Who can become a Community First Responder?
Anyone can become a community First Responder but you must:
Be physically fit
Agree to a Criminal Record Bureau Check
Have a full driving licence and use of a car
Have a caring nature
Agree to undertake training
If you feel you could become a community first responder, or you require more information ring: 01284 731802 (9am – 5pm), or 01603 481220 out of hours. Alternatively you can email your contact details to: