I employ a Community First Responder

Introduction

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Information and advice for employers

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By supporting your employee to be a Community First Responder, you are helping to provide a vital service to your community.

Most of the information below is taken from the Scottish Ambulance Service Employers Pack. Please have a look at the rest of this website to get a better understanding of the challenges your employee faces and what you can do to help.

Thank you for being part of the wider ambulance service family.

Information and advice for employers

What is a Community First Responder?
Community First Responders (CFRs) are volunteers that provide an essential part of our emergency response capability, giving immediate care and support to patients while an ambulance is on its way. CFRs live within their local community, are able to respond quickly and provide an early intervention in situations such as cardiac arrest, stroke and respiratory difficulties. This can dramatically improve patient survival and recovery.
What is the time commitment for required to be a Community First Responder?
There is no minimum time commitment required. The vast majority of our volunteer CFRs manage their CFR role around their daily work and family commitments. There is however a need to undertake regular monthly training, these are sessions facilitated by a local CFR scheme and are normally held in the evening.
What training do they receive?
Volunteers are trained by our specialist trainers in a range of life saving skills such as Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) as well as how to use emergency equipment such as an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and how to administer oxygen therapy. CFRs must maintain these skills throughout their time volunteering with the Scottish Ambulance Service.
What should we do when they return to the workplace?
When they return from a call out they may have dealt with something relatively straightforward (e.g. someone with breathing difficulties) or attended something potentially traumatic, like a fatal cardiac arrest. It is helpful to remember this because they may return to work in different mindset to when they left an hour ago.

It is your employee’s responsibility to make sure they’re physically and mentally fit to return to their workplace and they will become adept at managing this transition. However, we recommend you talk to them about how you and they can best deal with this and then let other workmates know. They might appreciate a cuppa and a quick “You OK?”  but are unlikely to want (or be able) to discuss the incident they’ve attended. Take your lead from them.

It is normal for people to be a bit preoccupied after they’ve attended an upsetting job so don’t be surprised if they’re a bit quieter for a few days, or perhaps a week or two. You can understand more about reactions to trauma and stress on this website.

If you’re worried about them, ask how they are. It may or may not be something to do with their responder role, but they will appreciate you asking. Have a look at the advice on the Good management and Leadership page.  
How can I find out more?
If a member of your staff would like any further information about becoming a volunteer Community First Responder with the Scottish Ambulance Service they can email.

For more information there is a pdf you can download.

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