Applications to become community first aiders double after appeal

A week to raise awareness of the invaluable work of the ambulance service’s community first responders (CFRs) has been hailed a major success - more than doubling the number of applicants and significantly boosting social media interest.

The CFR take over week was launched on Monday, January 21 to highlight the contribution these volunteer life-savers make to their communities and encourage others to join them.

Early indications show that since it began Lorna Hayes, Regional Community Partnership Lead for the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST), has received nearly 50 applications to become a CFR compared to the average of around 20 a week.

A Twitterthon from the volunteering frontline arranged for Wednesday grew so much that it carried on throughout the week and sparked national interest.

The 625 #CFRTakeover tweets so far have helped the Trust’s Twitter account boost its followers to more than 3,000 from 2,984 while Facebook likes have soared to 1,080 from

Lorna said: “I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in ensuring the week was such an incredible success.

“It went way beyond expectations and that is all down to the CFRs and managers contributing blogs, tweets from the frontline and our Facebook webchat on Friday.

“We are now looking at making this an annual event. It has been a lot of hard work but so worth it, especially if it means more CFRs to save the lives of more patients.”

More information on exact figures will be available soon.

CFRs are sent by ambulance control to life-threatening emergencies such as a cardiac arrest in their immediate vicinity so can get to an incident in the first few vital minutes and stabilise the patient, keeping them alive while an ambulance clinician is on their way.

And anyone able to undertake this role can do so with access to a car and from the age of 18.

A special section on the Trust website featured regular information throughout the week focusing on different aspects of this invaluable role, vital statistics and a focus on a different area each day.

There were also blogs from the volunteers and ambulance service staff who make it all happen on our Wordpress site as well as the Twitterthon and Facebook webchat.

Anyone wanting to become a CFR can call 01954 712400 (9am to 5pm) or 01603 481220 out of hours.

They can also complete our online form here or email a request for information to:

For more information please visit or our Facebook, Twitter or blog pages.