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
  • Seizures

Could you be a Community First Responder?

Are you….

  • Someone who enjoys working in a team?
  • Keen to make a difference to your community?
  • Calm in a crisis?
  • Able to volunteer a minimum of 20 hours per month?
  • At least 18 years old?
  • A holder of a valid UK full driving licence held for at least one year with no more than 3 penalty points and have access to a B class vehicle with current tax, MOT and insurance for your use.

Applications are received online, through the NHS Jobs site.  Please keep checking this page to see when the next advertisement is open, or alternatively you can create your own role search on NHS jobs https://www.jobs.nhs.uk/  to receive an email notification.

We hold selection interviews and the screening process comprises a Disclosure and Barring Service Check (DBS), professional references and health clearance.  We provide all the training that you will need, covering the Community First Responder scope of practice, but it’s also important that every year you undertake our online modules including infection prevention and control, safeguarding adults and children and information governance. It’s a challenging but very rewarding role and we’re there to support you at every step of this journey.

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


Joanne – Brighton & Hove

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.