What does a CFR do?

Why Community First Responders are needed


East Midlands Ambulance Service always seeks to provide the fastest possible response to emergency calls using its ambulances or fast response cars. However, for patients experiencing a life-threatening medical emergency, every second counts. For example, in a cardiac arrest situation, for every minute that passes without defibrillation the patient’s chance of survival can decrease by up to 10%.

cpr timeline

It is also true that the ambulance service is seeing unprecedented levels of demand and so at peak times or for some more rural and hard to reach communities the response time for an ambulance can be extended.

For these reasons, Community First Responders came into being, working in partnership with (but never replacing) the ambulance service to provide immediate, possibly life-saving care, prior to the arrival of an ambulance crew.

CFR’s are a vital link in the chain or survival, able to make simple but critical interventions in the vital minutes where a life can be saved or a patient stabilised.

What is involved in being a Community First Responder

Our CFR’s are trained and dispatched by East Midlands Ambulance Service. All of our responders are able to deal with patients over the age of 12 and carry equipment including a defibrillator and oxygen together with kit to manage an airway or take medical observations.

Some of our responders have further training to administer limited drugs (for example in a severe asthma attack or diabetic emergency), to deal with traumatic injuries (such as falls, burns or cuts) and to assist patients as young as just one-day old.