Do I need to have any prior medical/first aid knowledge or training?
No, training is conducted by East of England Ambulance Service paramedics who have specialised in training. However, any previous first aid experience or other medical qualifications can only help.
What level would I be trained to?
All East of England First Responders are trained to either basic and intermediate or advanced level.
What does the training involve?
A new, more comprehensive training course has been introduced which runs for five days, normally over three weekends. After you qualify you can spend a shift as an observer with an ambulance crew.
Are there any exams?
There is a multiple choice test at mid-point and also an assessment of the practical skills you have learned at the end.
How much does it cost and where is the training?
There is a charge of £30 for the initial training, which is provided by the Ambulance Service and is carried out at a location within East Anglia. Joint revision sessions with other local CFR groups take place in Woodbridge once a month.
Is there an age limit?
Responders have to be between the age of 18 and 70 and have an average level of physical fitness.
What would my duties be?
You can volunteer to do as many shifts as you choose, preferably a minimum of 16 hours per calendar month. When on call you need to be ready to go out at a moment’s notice.
Vehicle and driving
Community First Responders use their own vehicles and are asked to attend serious medical incidents within their community, but are not to break the speed limit and must drive safely and comply with ALL Road Traffic Act regulations. There are no exceptions and failure to follow the regulations may lead to prosecution. Under no circumstances will Community First Responders be authorised to use flashing lights or sirens.
Do I have to live within the HABSS area?
Yes, in order to be able to reach a patient quickly enough, you need to reside within one of the seven villages we support (Hollesley, Alderton, Bawdsey, Shottisham, Sutton, Boyton and Ramsholt).