Community First Responders

When a patient faces a serious emergency, every second counts for them and a simple helping hand from a Community First Responder can make a vital difference to their lives.

First Responders in Wales are volunteers who donate their spare time to attend appropriate 999 calls and provide first hand emergency care to people in their own community.

When a 999 call is made, First Responders are alerted by WAST‘s three control centres and are sent to certain types of calls the same time as an ambulance so they can provide essential care until the vehicle reaches the scene.

The volunteers are trained by the Welsh Ambulance Service to administer basic first aid skills, oxygen therapy, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of a defibrillator.

Could you become a Community First Responder?

  • Do you enjoy a challenge?
  • Are you good under pressure and remain calm in an emergency?
  • Are you proud of the community in which you live and want to give something back?
  • Do you have free time to spare?
  • Are you ready to learn essential lifesaving skills?
  • Have you got a full driving license?
  • Are you in reasonable good health?
  • Are you over the age of eighteen?

What happens next?

Once you have been selected to attend a course which is run over five full days, we have WAST staff who will train volunteers in life saving skills and how to use all equipment available to first responders.

All our volunteers are subject to an ID check, Enhanced DBS check, occupational health clearance and two character references.

Each new learner, will also be provided access to online learning materials, which must be completed prior to the commencement of a course.

A network of WAST support staff will train volunteers in life saving skills and how to use the equipment available to our CFR's.

On successful completion of the course, we will then be able to link you to your local CFR team via their team coordinator and allow you to integrate with team and start using your newly acquired skills by responding to calls in your immediate community.

WAST encourages all teams to be self-running, involving the appointment of a volunteer team co-ordinator to help independently manage each local scheme.

If it’s a yes to all the questions then you are the person we are looking for to join one of our existing schemes or develop a new team.

Why we do it

Bargoed CFR - Daryl Harries - As a Community First Responder we give of our valuable time, free of charge to help our local community in their hour of need. When illness or injury occur, time is of the essence to save lives. Community based CFR's attend our patients in a timely manner to offer our life saving skills or just a listening ear to instil confidence that help is at hand. Helping our community in our special way is immensely rewarding and satisfying to us all.

Pontypool CFR – Steve Adams - I have always worked with the emergency services and being a First Responder allows me to interact with people on a professional basis. I know the difference that a friendly face while dealing with distressed people is sometimes as good as any medication. It is nice to be able to make a difference

Llanvaches CFR – Pete Richards - There is no better feeling than knowing you have made a difference to not only the patient but their family and friends. I still meet a man who I attended over ten years ago when he had a sudden cardiac arrest and he is still active and enjoys his new grandchildren. A privilege to be part of a team that gave him and his family a future. In big and small ways this happens on almost every call a CFR attends. 

Aberfan CFR – Nathan Fear - A rewarding role, helping the local community often at a time of urgent need. It is a satisfying to be a part of the ambulances family doing what we can to support urgent healthcare, with excellent support and training.

If you would like to find out more about joining an existing team or starting one from scratch, please email your regional officer:

North Wales – amb_first.responder.north@wales.nhs.uk

South East Wales - amb_first.responder.south@wales.nhs.uk

Central and West Wales - amb_first.responder.central@wales.nhs.uk