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

Latest News & Updates

Meet our volunteers 

Community Safety Day - Paper Mill Lock - Little Baddow - Thursday 18th August 10:00 - 15:00

Come and say hello to our volunteers. Practice CPR and learn how a defibrillator works 

Applying defib pads

CPRPaper Mill Lock



All First Responder News

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