Community First Responder Initiative

East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) would like to encourage better representation from the BME community within its pool of Community First Responders (CFR).

They are embarking on a pilot to ensure they have a diverse profile and, more importantly, to improve the support for patients by having Community First Responders who have additional skills, knowledge or experience relating to heritage, culture, language or beliefs.

Community First Responder volunteers are trained to attend emergency calls received by EMAS and to provide treatment for the patient until an ambulance arrives.

The types of emergencies attended may range from collapse due to medical problems and accidents in the home or public place. CFRs are volunteers from the local community with one member acting as the group coordinator. The volunteers’ local knowledge and cultural awareness significantly aid the medical response. All scheme members are trained by EMAS to deliver Basic Life Support and defibrillation to patients in cardiac arrest.

CFRs have to be 18 or over and physically fit enough to be able to achieve a satisfactory standard of proficiency after training. They should have a sympathetic and caring approach to people, reliable and trust worthy with a mature outlook on life.

Ideally, CFRs should be able to drive and hold a clean driving licence. A key factor is that CFRs must be able to work with others as part of a team.

CFRs are a valuable resource but do not in any way replace existing emergency ambulance service. If the ambulance service can send a fully trained CFR to a patient who has suffered a heart attack and they arrive within three to four minutes, that patient’s chances of survival will increase by 10 percent for every minute that the community first responder is there, prior to the arrival of the ambulance crew.

Types of calls a CRF might attend include:

  • Cardiac arrest
  • Heart attack
  • Strokes
  • Choking
  • Diabetic emergencies
  • Traumatic emergencies (not road traffic collisions)
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Patients suffering from seizures
  • Chest Pains

For further information visit or contact Mukesh Barot, Equality & Diversity Manager on 07813 432 405 or by email at