EEAST – Supporting and expanding community first responders across our region
Date: 26 September 2022
East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) is taking action to better support and recognise the invaluable commitment of our Community First Responders (CFRs) as well as launching a campaign to recruit more CFRs to help support local communities with life-saving care.
In recognition of the contribution of our CFRs, and to expand the opportunity to volunteer to more people, EEAST is removing the historic fees associated with signing up as a CFR and is introducing expense payments to help cover the costs of travel and other expenses from 1 November 2022.
EEAST is also launching a campaign to encourage more people in local communities to sign up as a CFR with additional training courses. We are looking for local organisations and businesses who may be willing to become CFR partners and to support their employees to respond.
This work builds on existing investment that EEAST is making to support and expand CFRs across the east of England, including investment in Raizer II Chairs to help care for people who have fallen at home and the introduction of several CFR cars across the region which can respond in local communities.
Duncan Baker MP, Member of Parliament for North Norfolk said:
“Having raised this issue in Parliament and holding talks with the ambulance service, I am delighted that the importance of our CFRs has been recognised in this way.
They provide vital support to our paramedics, and it has been a campaign of Dr Holliday and mine’s to ensure CFRs are remunerated better to aide recruitment and retention. The costly initial fees, that so often present a barrier to more people signing up, have also been waived. I am grateful to EEAST for listening and supporting this initiative as we do all we can to help our ambulance service.”
Councillor Victoria Holliday said:
'I’m delighted that East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust are taking such positive steps to recruit and support community first responders. With emergency ambulance response times in coastal North Norfolk some of the worst in the country, we depend on these skilled and dedicated volunteers for their life saving interventions. Duncan Baker MP and I have been working with EEAST for some time on this campaign to reimburse training, travel and other expenses. We are very grateful for this new initiative, which will recognise the importance of CFRs and increase their numbers, so our residents can receive the timely help they deserve.'
More information on the role of CFRs and details on how to apply to volunteer are available on EEAST’s website at https://www.eastamb.nhs.uk/join-the-team/community-first-responders.
- EEAST has around 800 volunteer CFRs who are registered to respond in their local communities across the east of England.
- Between 1st April 2022 and 31st August 2022, CFRs responded to 8,859 incidents across the region.
- Anyone can become a community first responder with the following requirements:
- be physically fit
- be aged between 18-70
- agree to a disclosure and barring service check (DBS). This was previously known as criminal records bureau disclosure or CRB.
- have a sympathetic, caring nature
- agree to undertake training, which we provide
- have a full driving licence and access to a road worthy car.
EEAST is taking action to better support and recognise the invaluable commitment of our Community First Responders (CFRs) as well as launching a campaign to recruit more.