Who Are We
We are a group of volunteers who respond to emergency calls in the area where we live or work on behalf of the East of England Ambulance Service. Our aim is to reach a potential life threatening emergency in the first vital minutes before the Ambulance crew arrive on scene.
Community First Responders are dispatched to the patient by Ambulance Control to an area where the ambulance cannot realistically reach the collapsed patient within the first 8 minutes. Our purpose is to try to make a difference in our community, helping to stabilise the collapsed patient and, in doing so, help to keep the patient alive until the arrival of the more highly skilled Ambulance crew, who are trained to undertake further life saving techniques.
The concept of Community First Responders originated in America through work undertaken by Dr Richard Cummins. He discovered that if a series of events took place in a set sequence, the patient suffering a cardiac arrest had a greater chance of survival. These events are known as the ‘Chain of Survival’
If the Ambulance Service can send a Community First Responder who is trained in basic life support, the use of a defibrillator and in administering oxygen to the collapsed patient within three to four minutes, the patient’s chances of survival will increase by 10% for every minute that the Community First Responder is there prior to the arrival of the Ambulance crew.