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Community First Responders

Volume 447: debated on Monday 12 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the responsibilities are of community first responders in (a) Staffordshire and (b) the rest of England. (75023)

Community responders are volunteers from the local community and often include members of St John Ambulance, Red Cross and other individuals with a clinical background. First responders are individuals working for the fire and police services, who also respond to ambulance 999 calls while on duty. In all cases, responders are deployed by a national health service ambulance trust to appropriate 999 calls.

Community and first responders in England make themselves available to respond to appropriate 999 calls at the request of a NHS ambulance trust and to provide aid to the patient while the ambulance response is en route, having been dispatched at around the same time as the ambulance vehicle. Calls are usually those where life is in immediate danger such as cardiac arrest. Responders are trained in basic life support and have equipment such as defibrillators.

Their precise roles and responsibilities are a matter for the host ambulance trust.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether community first responders will be retained in Staffordshire with their current roles and responsibilities. (75024)

We would expect the new trusts to maintain current community responder schemes. Their precise roles and responsibilities are a matter for the host ambulance trust.