New video aims to recruit Community First Responders across Yorkshire

21 November 2019

Filming of the promotional video taking place

A recruitment video has been produced by Yorkshire Ambulance Service to boost the numbers of Community First Responders (CFRs) across Yorkshire.

The five-minute video features a cardiac arrest scenario when a CFR provides vital life-saving treatment in the vital few moments before the arrival of an ambulance.

While not all call-outs are as serious as this, the video illustrates the value of the volunteers who are trained to respond to emergencies in their local communities. The video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPIMK4YH5_M.

Recruitment is currently ongoing in all areas of Yorkshire (except Sheffield) and particularly in Dewsbury, Wakefield, Craven, Kippax, Doncaster, York, Reeth and Richmond and Driffield.

“We have a team of around 900 volunteers who belong to 340 CFR schemes across Yorkshire, responding to an average of 16,000 calls every year, and are a valued aspect of the emergency response we provide to our patients,” said Darren Lee, Interim Head of Community Resilience for Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

“The video provides a valuable insight into the role of our CFRs and will hopefully help with our ongoing recruitment campaign. The larger our team, the more coverage we can give to our communities, and the more calls CFRs will be able to attend.”

When a high-priority 999 call is received in the YAS Emergency Operations Centre, an ambulance response is dispatched. At the same time, a CFR on-call in the area can be alerted and asked to attend the incident to ensure that help reaches the patient as quickly as possible.

As our volunteers are based within the community, they may only be a minute or two away from a medical emergency and very often their role is to simply provide vital reassurance to patients and their families until the ambulance crew arrives.

However, in extreme cases, such as a cardiac arrest, they can perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use an automated external defibrillator (AED) to try and restart someone’s heart, which can potentially save their life.

Anyone who wants to help their community can become a CFR. No previous medical experience or training is necessary, but you will need a caring attitude and be able to cope with potentially distressing situations.

You need to:

  • be aged 18 or over
  • hold a valid, full UK driving licence, with no more than three penalty points
  • have access to a vehicle
  • be prepared to undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service check
  • be prepared to undertake occupational health screening
  • be prepared to undertake a CFR course.

You will be asked to attend a welcome evening and introduction to Yorkshire Ambulance Service. Subject to your application to become a CFR being accepted, and the completion of relevant checks, you will be invited on a training course.

For more information on being a CFR, or to apply to join the team, visit http://www.communityresponders.yas.nhs.uk or email yas.responders@nhs.net

Produced by: Corporate Communication Department