Community First Responders

If you want to be able to help out in a medical emergency , then volunteer as a Community First Responder. You will be trained by SCAS to be able to deal with  medical emergencies calmly and professionally, providing sometimes life-saving first aid to a patient in the crucial minutes before an ambulance arrives. Once the ambulance arrives, you will continue to support the SCAS staff treating the patient.

After attending an initial five-day training course (spread over several weekends and weekday evenings), the commitment we ask of you is to make yourself available at least 20 hours each month and to attend an annual 1 day refresher course.You can choose the times to fit around your other commitments and you ‘respond’ from home or perhaps your workplace.

We will provide you with all the training, equipment and support you need to do something amazing for your community: become a real lifesaver.

The CFR role

We have Community First Responder (CFR) Schemes across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire, in both urban and rural areas. Our CFRs are trained to deliver life-saving skills such as the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED), basic airway management and oxygen therapy, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR – and we always need new recruits.

Click here to see a CFR scheme in your area.

Because CFRs only respond to emergencies in the area where they live or work, they can arrive at the scene shortly before an ambulance gets there. By being able to start life-saving medical treatment earlier, CFRs really do help save more lives.

The types of emergencies you might attend

You will only be sent to 999 emergency calls we receive during the hours you have agreed to provide emergency cover, if you have had the relevant training and if the incident is local to you (usually within three to five miles). You will be trained to help in cases of:

  • Cardiac arrest
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Choking
  • Diabetic emergencies
  • Serious injuries (though not road traffic collisions)
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Patients suffering a seizure
  • Chest pains
  • Unconscious patients

You can read more about why we know you could save a life here.

The equipment CFRs use

All our CFR volunteers are provided with a uniform, and with the equipment they need to save lives. They carry an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and a medical kit bag that holds an oxygen cylinder, equipment to prevent the tongue blocking the airway and dressings and bandages . The also carry suction equipment and a torch and the equipment they need to communicate with our control centre and to record the care they give. It costs about £2000 to set a new CFR volunteer up with everything they need to save a life – and every penny of that needs to be raised by the charity.

A day in the life of a CFR volunteer

Interested, but want to know a bit more about what it is really like to be  CFR volunteer. Read three “day in the life of” stories here.

Want to talk to us about becoming a CFR?

Call us on 0800 587 0207 or email cfr@scas.nhs.uk

If you would like to apply then please download our Voluntary Community First Responder application pack

Other ways you could help

Our CFR scheme is 100% reliant on donations to our charity. If becoming a CFR is not for you but you want to help, then find out more about why you should support these volunteersjust donate, or find out more about other ways you can volunteer.