Community First Responder Schemes

Community First Responders are groups of volunteers who live and work in the local community, like Simon who is featured in the short film below.

They are trained and activated by North West Ambulance Service to attend certain emergency calls where time can make the difference between life and death.  The responder provides care until the ambulance arrives, usually only a few minutes later.

Very often the role they play is one of reassurance. In instances where someone has chest pains, simply giving them oxygen can make a big difference. In extreme cases they can perform CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) or in extreme cases use the defibrillator to restart someone's heart.

Each volunteer takes it in turn to be 'on call'. They carry basic first aid equipment and a simple to use Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

The ambulance service dispatcher sends them to immediately life threatening) medical calls; they are dispatched at the same time as the ambulance crews but because they are often in more rural areas, can often arrive more quickly than the ambulance.

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.

If you would like to set up a First Responder scheme in your community, or join an existing scheme, then please visit, to see if it's something for you.

Contact details

Janet Graham
Cheshire & Merseyside Area

Chris Hyde
Cumbria & Lancashire Area

David McNally
Greater Manchester Area