Want to become a Responder?


As the aim is to constantly expand the scheme and to increase the number of members to the scheme, there will potentially always be a need for more funds. Our primary aim is to ensure that each member has a full medical kit. The benefits of having a kit each are as follows:-

  • Much greater flexibility with regards to the times when a member can be on call. Although we work within a rota, quite often members might be able to book on-call unexpectedly, outside of the rota. If they did not have a kit to hand, they could not do this.
  • It is possible that a member could be called by the Ambulance Service, even when not actually booked on call.
  • Having undergone quite detailed training in life support, and having been trained to use the equipment that we carry, it is quite possible that a member could come across a medical emergency during their normal daily business and be able to help.
  • We operate a ‘buddy’ system as much as we can, where 2 members will try to attend a call. This would certainly be very useful in a full resuscitation scenario. By having a kit each, it would take into account that one member is bound to arrive on the scene before the other.


Who can become a Community Responder?
A Community Responder must be over the age of 18, at an acceptable fitness level, able to achieve a satisfactory standard of proficiency after training and have a sympathetic, caring approach to people. They should be an upstanding member of their community with a mature outlook on life. A key factor is that Community First Responders should have the ability to work as part of a team, be honest, trustworthy, reliable and compassionate.

Are there any emergencies to which a Community Responder wouldn’t be asked to go?
Yes, emergencies that would be considered unsafe for Community First Responders’ welfare, such as Road Traffic Collisions (RTC) or known violent or potentially violent situations.

Will there be any support after dealing with a serious incident?
Following all serious incidents the designated Ambulance Service representative would be available to offer any relevant help or support. During the core working day and week a nominated officer would be available and, out of hours, the Ambulance Service has a number of officers on call who would be available to offer support and, if necessary, visit the Community First Responders at their home addresses.

How are Community Responders called out?
The Emergency Patient Communications Centre (EPCC) of South East Coast Ambulance Service will contact the ‘On Call’ Community First Responder by pager and/or mobile telephone which is part of the equipment supplied. Consideration will be given to each individual scheme with regard to method of call-out and communication.

Will an emergency Ambulance Service always attend?
Yes, as a matter of course, the emergency ambulance service will dispatch, ambulance personnel to the scene, as mentioned earlier, this may be in the form of a rapid response car, motor cycle or conventional ambulance.

Will training be provided?
It is important that Community First Responders have adequate training to be able to deal with the emergencies they are sent to. After successful completion of the initial training, to ensure skills are maintained, it will be necessary for members to attend regular training sessions. Details of this will be provided in a separate Policies and Procedures document.

Is any equipment provided?
Each scheme should attempt to raise some monies itself by sponsorship or fundraising events. South East Coast Ambulance Service, together with the British Heart Foundation will help and assist where appropriate, the purchasing and funding of various items of equipment.