Community First Responders
Community First Responder (CFR) volunteers are trained
to attend emergency calls received by the
ambulance service and provide care until the
Volunteers can arrive at an emergency scene in a matter of
minutes, as they are sent to calls in their local
The schemes operate as a community partnership
between St John Ambulance and local ambulance service trusts.
Having someone in the community who has been trained in first aid
and can reach the patient quickly makes all the difference.
St John Ambulance has been working hard across its
regions to establish a close working partnership with
NHS Ambulance Service Trusts in maintaining existing
CFR units and establishing new units. Several
regions now have units operating in their area with more
regions seeking to establish this important role.
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
- unconscious patient
- breathing difficulties
Volunteer with St John Ambulance
If you're 18 years old or over and interested in
volunteering your time to be the difference find out
how to become a Community First Responder.
Community First Responders are dispatched to calls under normal
road conditions using their own cars. They do not have the
authority to drive under emergency conditions.
This worthwhile role means that you can often be first on the
scene to a patient in need, assessing their condition and
prioritising your response. CFRs are
trained to not only assess the immediate situation
but also to ascertain a previous medical history
whilst treating a patient. Sometimes they can simply be a very
vital second pair of hands to an ambulance crew when they
As well as basic first aid equipment, they carry automated
external defribrillators (AEDs) and are trained and equipped to
provide oxygen therapy.
New volunteers and those wishing to qualify for this role will
need to attend an approved training course which
includes assessment, and will be required to re-qualify
Every year, our CFRs attend more than 6,000
calls on behalf of ambulance service trusts.