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
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)
- Collapsed or Unconscious patients
- Diabetics (Hypo or Hyperglycaemia)
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