What is CFR

Community First Responders (CFR) are volunteers who are trained to attend certain types of emergency calls in the area where they live or work. Their aim is to reach a potential life threatening emergency in the first vital minutes before the ambulance crew arrives.

Their role is to help stabilise the patient and provide the appropriate care including defibrillation, until the more highly skilled ambulance crew arrives on scene to take over the treatment.  CFR groups who are linked to the NAS National Emergency Operations Centre are alerted to an emergency in their area and as they are community based, can provide medical assistance within minutes of a 999/112 call being received.

In relation to cardiac arrest where the patient’s heart has stopped pumping blood around the body the following sequence of events is known as the "Chain of Survival"

  • Early Access (to activate the emergency services)
  • Early Basic Life Support (CPR Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation)
  • Early Defibrillation (an electric shock to restart the heart)
  • Early Advanced Care (paramedic intervention)

The more ‘links’ of the chain the patient receives, greatly improves their chance of survival following a cardiac arrest

CFR Chain of Survival






Community First Responders are an integral and valued link in the 'Chain of Survival' as they can provide essential treatments in those crucial first few minutes prior to the arrival of the National Ambulance Service

NAS will provide the following supports to integrated First Responder Schemes:

  • Effective Liaison
  • Recognition
  • Provision of expert advice and support
  • Clinical Guidance
  • Clinical Indemnity
  • Replacement of Consumables
  • Access to Critical Incident Stress Management Support
  • Management of Clinical Waste

For further information please contact the NAS Community Engagement Officer at cfr@hse.ie or cfr.west@hse.ie