Frequently Asked Questions


Q             How long will the initial training last?

A             The course is delivered over three days at weekends. The first two days, you are taught CPR, how to

                place a patient in the recovery position, use a defibrillator and other equipment. You are taught how to

                deal with adult and paediatric patients (over the age of 2 years). The following weekend, you return to

                be assessed. 

Q             Will I have to be assessed and how often?

A             After the initial course assessment, every Community First Responder (CFR) is then re-assessed every

                6 months (for paediatric patients) and every 12 months for adult patients.

Q             Is there additional training?

A             This depends on each group. Our group meets once a month to undertake training from the training    

                plan set out by the Ambulance Service. There is a different subject every month and each one relates 

                only to the type of conditions that CFR’s can attend.

Q             What type of incidents will I be sent to?

A             A responder is sent to a patient suffering from one of the following medical conditions

    •            Allergic reaction
    •            Breathing difficulties (including asthma and other respiratory conditions)
    •            Chest Pain (including cardiac arrest, heart attacks and patients suffering angina)
    •           Choking
    •           Collapsed or Unconscious patients
    •           Diabetics (Hypo or Hyperglycaemia)
    •           Fitting
    •           Strokes

Q           What age of patient will I be asked to attend?

A           CFR’s are sent to patients aged 2 years and older.

The Ambulance Service will not knowingly send a CFR to any incident involving trauma, violence, drugs, or Road Traffic Collisions, nor any patient UNDER the age of 2 years.

Q           How often do I have to be available "on call"?

A           This is dependent upon you and your work or family commitments. The level of cover varies from group

              to group, but our volunteers cover a daily three shift pattern over a 24 hour period, 7 days a week. You

              can cover as many or as few as you like

Q           Will I get paid for being on call or attending an incident?

A           No. It is unpaid voluntary work.

Q           How do I get to an incident?

A            It is essential that you own or have access to a car and hold a FULL UK driving licence.

Q            Will it affect my car insurance?

A            Not usually, but some insurance companies may make a small charge depending on your current

               policy. None of our current volunteers have incurred a charge from their insurance companies. The 

               East of England Ambulance Service will provide you with a letter for your insurance company,

               explaining the role of a Community First Responder.

Q            What about personal insurance?

A            East of England Ambulance Service cover providing you are acting on our behalf i.e. you are

               responding to an emergency call out from Ambulance Control.

Q            Is there an age limit for CFR’s?

A            To become a Community First Responder, you must be at least 18 years old. There is no upper age

               limit, however you must be reasonably fit and be physically capable of moving a patient when


Q             What happens if I deal with a difficult incident?

A             Everybody responds differently to situations. Some just want to deal with it themselves; others will  

                want to talk to family or friends. Whatever your needs, a local Manager is available day or night to

                listen to your concerns and to provide initial support. Every volunteer has access to East of England

                Ambulance Service counselors if necessary.

Q             Can I exceed the speed limit when responding to a call?

A              No. All volunteers must adhere to the Highway Code at all times and are not allowed to exceed the

                 speed limit or ignore any traffic sign

Do you need an Emergency Ambulance?

A&E Chart