South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) is keen to hear from members of the public interested in taking on the rewarding role of a Community First Responder (CFR).

CFRs are volunteer members of the public provided with training to respond to emergencies in the areas where they live or work. They deliver care to patients in the minutes before the arrival of ambulance crews.

The Trust is currently advertising for the voluntary role in Surrey and Sussex and is particularly keen to hear from people living or working in rural or semi-rural areas.

SECAmb is also introducing a new ‘volunteer to career pathway’ for anyone interested in exploring a paid career in the Trust. The pathway will mean any CFR who has completed 18 months of volunteering a minimum of four hours a week will be guaranteed an interview for qualifying paid frontline roles.

CFRs make a huge difference to the lives of the people they serve each day, working alongside SECAmb’s ambulance crews in caring for some of our most seriously-ill and injured patients.

A highly-rewarding role, often helping people at their most vulnerable, all successful applicants will receive comprehensive training to equip them with the skills to attend to such emergencies.

SECAmb is looking for applicants who want to make a difference to their community and can ideally volunteer a minimum of 20 hours each month and commit to a minimum two-year term of volunteering.

On successful completion of training, all individuals will receive a Level 3 First Responder on Scene (FROS) qualification, accredited by FutureQuals Qualification, which meets and exceeds all of the requirements of the Level 3 in First Aid at Work and which can also be used in its place.

Applications close on Sunday 21 July with interviews for the role will taking place in Banstead on Saturday 10 August. Training dates for successful applicants scheduled for 12, 13, 26 and 27 October 2024 in Crawley. Interview and training dates are fixed.

SECAmb Head of Community Engagement, David Wells, said: “We are extremely proud of our volunteer CFRs who make a huge difference to the communities they serve.

“We’re really keen to hear from people with the right attributes to take on this role supporting our frontline services. I’d encourage anyone interested to find out more and consider applying for this challenging but highly-rewarding role.”

For further information on Community First Responders visit Community First Responders – NHS South East Coast Ambulance Service (

For further information and to apply for the role NHS Jobs and search Community First Responders Sussex & Surrey or click on the links below.

Applications close on Sunday 21 July

Case studies

Jack Stonehouse, CFR Team Leader – Seahaven, (Newhaven and Seaford, East Sussex): “Being a CFR is an extremely rewarding voluntary role that I highly recommend to anyone interested in joining. You learn numerous skills, not just medical, and meet people from all walks of life.

“Being able to quickly get to the scene of an incident and assist someone in my local community during their time of need is extremely satisfying, especially for time-critical situations where every second truly counts.

“I’ve been involved in volunteering for many years, and this is one of the most rewarding roles I have undertaken. You need no prior medical skills or knowledge to join, as an intensive course is provided to train you. Additionally, there is excellent ongoing support from other CFRs and ambulance crews throughout the year.”

Tessa Weaver, CFR, Guildford and District Team: “Knowing you’ve helped someone in an emergency is an amazing feeling.  CFRs have to be ready for anything – you might be helping save a life, or you might be making a big difference simply by being calm, reassuring and in control.

“It can be challenging and sometimes pushes my comfort zone but I have grown and benefited so much from my experiences as a CFR.  It’s given me the knowledge of how to manage an emergency but has also helped me develop as a listener, built my empathy and built my understanding of all kinds of people and situations.

“I joined with no existing first aid skills and was worried I would struggle, but the team is behind you with training, mentoring and support.”