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Community First Responders

Community First Responders

What is a Community First Responder (CFR)? – CFRs are volunteer members of their community who are trained to respond to emergency calls in conjunction with SECAMB.  As they respond in the local areas where they live and work they are able to attend the scene of an emergency within a few minutes, and often before the emergency service arrives.  They are able to offer life-saving first aid further increasing the patient’s chances of survival.

SECAmb currently has more than 400 CFRs spread across Kent, Surrey and Sussex and north east Hampshire.  Our CFRs attend roughly 20,000 emergency calls per year of which were categorised more than 10,000 are categorised as life-threatening including more than 1,000 of which are cardiac/respiratory arrest calls.    

Our CFRs attend a variety of calls including:

  • Cardiac/Respiratory Arrest
  • Choking
  • Chest Pain/Cardiac Problems
  • Breathing/ENT Problems
  • Stroke/Neurological
  • Unconscious/Faint
  • Allergic Reaction
  • Bleeding
  • Diabetic problems
  • Fitting

We asked one of our recruited CFRs what they get out of being a responder for SECAmb and their local community.

I become a CFR for a bit of R and R!!

For rest and relaxation you are thinking? No way in this case I became a CFR in the middle of last year for the Resources and Rewards!

Resources in this case are second to none. The 5 days of intensive and comprehensive training Provided me with the necessary knowledge to assist in saving life where appropriate, but also with various other first aid skills to help with the immediate care of a patient before the arrival of a crew. Secondly the ongoing training on a monthly basis re affirms those skills and is backed up by online courses through the trusts website. Thirdly the additional resources which are provided to all staff--- chaplaincy if needed and a dedicated response desk when duty is done ensuring you are sent to the right jobs and covering immediate welfare issues.

Rewards?? Well they speak for themselves. Being able to provide a service for my community is so important to me. The satisfaction I get when attending a patient and being able to help them with knowledge, but at the same time with sympathy, care, patience and understanding. Gaining their trust and receiving their appreciation makes the job so worthwhile. Of course the other reward is I have learnt a new skill, and have gained through my actions the trust of the regular paramedics and crews who I work with.

Definitely not rest and relaxation. You get out of it what you put in and a degree of dedication and commitment is required. I'm so glad I applied. Anyone thinking about doing this sort of voluntary work needs certain life skills but I assure you it's well worth the effort.

Joanne - Brighton & Hove

Could you be a Community First Responder? To find out more, click here.

Compliment received from a member of the public

David – a huge thanks

Dear David

I just wanted you to know how much your role meant to my husband and I last Sunday 14th June, when you came out to my call at the bottom of the hill.  My husband had come off his bike and with his broken collarbone evident, tons of road rash and not being able to move his leg it was painful for him and frightening for me.  Your friendly yet professional manner helped me to calm down (and not cause C too much more distress hopefully!).  You cleaned up some of C’s road rash and reassured him re holding his arm still before the ambulance arrived.  You could tell I probably wasn’t in the best place to cycle home, although I was trying to insist I would be fine, and you went out of your way to ensure I got home safely (much to relief of the ambulance crew too).

C is still in hospital and maybe for a few days yet.  He is having a plate put in his collarbone today, and they are still scanning and looking at the possible hip fracture.  We will have to leave the triathlon races for this year now, and focus on next year and his proper recovery.

We are both very grateful, thank you, and I am sure you will go on to help lots of other people in this fantastic and selfless role of First Responder

Cheers David


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