Community first responders are volunteers that help respond to immediate life-threatening calls, such as heart attacks, in their local community. They are used in addition to, not instead of ambulance services.
The Healthcare Commission has called for national guidelines to be developed to enable ambulance trusts to manage and govern their community first responder schemes consistently.
The survey found that there are 10,158 community first responders working throughout ambulance trusts in England. They were sent to 1.8 per cent of calls in 2006/7.
Community first responders can attend calls using blue lights and sirens but need to have already completed advanced driver training through their full-time occupation, for example as a GP.
Healthcare Commission report
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