Welcome to the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust Community First Responder website.
Community First Responders are volunteers who give their time freely to help care for people and save lives in their community.
Responders are everyday members of the general public who are trained to deal with a wide range of potentially life threatening conditions until the arrival of an ambulance.
Very often the role they play is one of reassurance, for example in instances where someone has chest pains but in more extreme cases they can perform CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) or use a defibrillator to restart someone's heart.
First Responders provide support to the regular Ambulance Service by attending serious and life threatening 999 calls in and around the community to provide the earliest possible intervention for patients in the first few minutes until the arrival of an Ambulance.
The ambulance service dispatcher is able to send Community First Responders to a range of incidents; they are dispatched at the same time as the ambulance crews but because they are often in more rural areas can often arrive before the ambulance. In cases of cardiac arrest it has been identified that the chance of a positive outcome reduces by approximately 10% for every minute that effective CPR and defibrillation are delayed.
The scheme can be incredibly rewarding as responders could well end up saving someone's life. Many villages where schemes exist show great community spirit knowing that there are people there who could be lifesavers.
Anyone who lives or works in the North West can get involved with the scheme, whether it's to be a First Responder, or to help with other vital tasks such as fund-raising, support or administration. Volunteers do not need previous first aid experience to join their local group, as full training will be provided.