Community first responders (CFR) play a key role in providing life-saving emergency care to patients. They are voluntary workers, dispatched by charities, to attend selected 999 calls. These volunteers significantly reduce the risk of nearby patient’s condition getting worse, and are often the difference between whether somebody lives or dies. In this blog, we’ll provide you with all the information that you need on Community First Responders.
What is a Community First Responder?
A Community First Responder is a trained volunteer, who provides life-saving treatment in their local area/workplace, until an ambulance arrives. Due to the fact that (by definition) CFRs live in the local area, they are the first to arrive at an emergency scene and therefore the first to administer treatment. This means that they play an essential role. For example, it is estimated that when a patient is experiencing cardiac arrest; every minute that goes by without them being defibrillated could reduce their chances of survival by 10%. Community First Responders also assist with other medical conditions such as breathing difficulties, or bleeding. Even the simplest techniques, such as placing a patient in the recovery position, can contribute to saving a life. To learn more about saving lives, make sure you check out our Paramedic partnership website.
How do Community First Responders train?
Community First Responders are trained by the charities and voluntary agencies that they work for. During the training process, all volunteers will be given a complete guide to life saving skills and hoe to use essential equipment. Many voluntary organisations work in conjunction with each other, to provide a competent and thorough national service. Once their training is complete, First Responders will be ‘on call’. This means that when they are working/volunteering, they’ll be alerted by Ambulance Control staff as to when they are needed at an incident or emergency scene. Usually you’ll work as part of a rota.
What qualities do I need to become a Community First Responder?
In order to become a Community First Responder, there are a number of personal qualities that you will need to have. It’s important to remember that this can be an incredibly stressful job, and you may experience things which are upsetting. With this in mind, it’s important that you are someone who is able to deal with traumatic incidents, in a calm and logical manner. Along with this, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I want to make a difference? As we have mentioned, Community First Responders play an integral role in life-saving. By volunteering, you would be signing yourself up to make an enormous difference to the community.
- Do I have the time? This is an important question. It’s not just about having the time to actually work as a First Responder, but to train too. Training is a sometimes lengthy process, that doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes a long time to learn the techniques needed to administer life-saving treatment, and this is something you’ll need to be prepared for in order to become a Community First Responder.
- Am I ready to deal with medical emergencies? Community First Responding is no picnic. You’ll be dealing with patients in severe pain, some of them close to death. In the worst cases, it’s possible that you’ll witness someone die in front of you. If this sounds too much to handle, then it might be worth questioning whether this is the right role for you. The nature of the medical industry, sadly, dictates that death is always a possibility.
- Do I hold a full, clean driving license? Naturally, Community First Responders need to arrive at the scene of medical emergencies in a swift and efficient manner. This means that they must be able to drive (this is non-negotiable) and their license must be clean.
- Am I in good health? Finally, if you are delivering essential first aid to patients, it’s important that you are someone who is in good health yourself. Community First Responding means a lot of rushing from A to B, in extremely fast time. Good health is linked with mental sharpness, making you a far more capable Community First Responder.