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How to set up a Community First Responder Scheme

on Monday, 07 September 2015. Posted in News

Are you are looking to set up a Community First Responder Scheme (CFR Scheme) in your community? If so, we have created a guide on setting up a CFR group in your community.

What is a First Responder?

CFR schemes

A first responder is a person who is trained in basic life support, including the use of a defibrillator, who attends an actual or potentially life-threatening emergency.

What is a Community First Responder Scheme?

There are currently over 100 CFR schemes in Ireland who are linked the the National Ambulance Service (NAS). CFR schemes are essentially volunteers from a community who are trained in resuscitation and using a defibrillator.

How to set up a CFR scheme:

Step 1) Contact the National Ambulance Service

The first thing that must be done is to contact the National Ambulance Service by emailing them at and let them know that you are planning on setting up a CFR group for your community.

Step 2) Hold a public Information Meeting

The next step is to hold a public meeting in your community to establish a committee. Typical positions would include: Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Treasurer, Training & Development Officer, Assistance Training & Development Officer, PRO/Sponsorship Officers, Medical Director and a Coordinator.

Step 3) Create a Constitution

A constitution for your CFR group will set out the guidelines for the scheme including the requirements of the participants. This will also set out what type of emergency calls that the CFR group will attend to, e.g. cardiac arrest and choking calls only or cardiac choking, chest pain a and stroke callouts.

Step 4) Organising Fundraising

Fundraising for your CFR scheme will be necessary to fund equipment including a defibrillator. Fundraising will also help to increase exposure of your scheme to the wider local community.

Step 5) Recruiting and Training

Getting people to join a CFR group is essential for the success of the scheme. Most CFR schemes would have 15/20 members. By having many members in your scheme will provide extra flexibility for 24/7 cover and availability of responders during holiday periods. The NAS will advise new groups on training that is required for its members to run a successful CFR scheme. Siren Training also run CFR community courses. 

CFR Community Courses

If you are a member of a CFR group, we have CFR community courses that we provide in your area, nationwide. All successful participants will receive a certificate from the Irish Heart Foundation which is valid for two years. Call now on +35374 9127279 for more details or to book a course for your group.

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