More about CFRs

What training is involved?

Before being accepted onto a training course, you will be expected to:

  • undergo an enhanced disclosure and barring service check (DBS).
    This was previously known as criminal records bureau disclosure or CRB.
  • agree to our policies and procedures of community responding
  • be declared fit for the role by our occupational health department.

You will then attend an intensive 18-hour training course. This is usually held at weekends.

The training you will receive from us

The course aims to provide you with the knowledge and skills to act as an agent of the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust and to be able to attend life threatening emergencies. It will give you the knowledge and skill to deliver emergency first aid and resuscitation to a patient before a member of ambulance staff arrives.

The programme will also train you in necessary health and safety requirements, and in communication and risk assessment to enable you to operate in a safe and ethical manner in line with ambulance service policies and procedures. It will involve an induction to the NHS to ensure every volunteer understands their role within the NHS and the ambulance service.

As part of the course you will also be taught how to respond to an emergency call, how to communicate with patients, infection control and prevention (IPC) and also administrative procedures. Having completed the training you will undertake a written exam followed by practical scenarios.

How are CFRs dispatched?

When we receive a 999 emergency call, the call is prioritised to establish if it is suitable to send a community first responder. If so, the nearest available group is alerted. An ambulance will always be mobilised at the same time. Each community responder group has a mobile phone to communicate with at the point of that alert and beyond.

The responder drives under normal road conditions. By virtue of being in the community, the average time to reach the patient should not normally exceed five minutes, depending on location.

Once an ambulance car or ambulance arrives, the responder hands over to the crew and may be asked to assist.

First responders are not able to claim any exemption under the Road Traffic Act and are therefore obliged to adhere to all road traffic regulations. The use of audible or visual devices, i.e. blue lights/sirens is also strictly prohibited.

More information is available from: