National Volunteer Week

‘As we celebrate National Volunteer week I would like to personally sincerely thank all our volunteer Community First Responders. The time and commitment they give really does save lives of people on the Isle of Wight.’

Louise Walker, Head of the ATCoRS
Isle of Wight Ambulance Community First Responders and Fire Co-Responders 2018

Isle of Wight Ambulance Community First Responders and Fire Co-Responders 2018

Community First Responders are local unpaid volunteers who are trained and dispatched by the NHS ambulance service to attend life threatening medical emergencies and provide life support until the arrival of the local statutory NHS Ambulance Service.

Research has shown that in cases of cardiac arrest, fast access to emergency life support skills and equipment can increase pre-hospital survival rates from 5% to as much as 74%. There is also sufficient evidence that in the event of a cardiac arrest where the casualty’s heart is in a shockable rhythm, for every minute that passes without defibrillation their chance of survival decreases by 10%.

Community First Responders usually use their own cars, no blue lights or sirens but being local means they can be on scene with a casualty in just a few minutes. They provide vital support until the arrival of the NHS Ambulance Service sometimes making the difference between life and death.

We currently have nineteen Community First Responder (CFR) volunteers involved in the scheme on the Island and we also have two Co-Responders for the Island; these are Firefighters with medical emergency skills that are tasked and respond for the Ambulance Service.

 ‘I am privileged to manage such a wonderful group of enthusiastic, highly valued, First Responders. Each and every one is an absolute asset to our community and I can’t thank them enough for being part of the scheme. I hope the number of Community First Responders will grow in the areas that most need them.’
Louise Walker, Head of the Ambulance Training & Community Response Services (ATCoRS)


These pictures are of just some of the amazing Community First Responders and Co-Responders that help to save lives of people on the Isle of Wight. They attend monthly training and dedicate many of their own hours to meet all the competencies required of them.

If you are interested in volunteering for this scheme, please contact the IW NHS Trust volunteer service by emailing: