There are 3 types of Responder within the Ambulance Service,
Service Responders are members of the Ambulance Service who are off duty who are willing to respond to 999 emergencies as a back up to on duty colleagues.
Co-responders are members of other the other Emergency Services i.e. Fire Brigade or Police, who are also off duty but are willing to respond to Emergency calls from the Ambulance Service. These members are trained in First Aid and have extra skills that let them attend medical emergencies.
Community Responders are members of the general public who in their spare time volunteer and work along side South Central Ambulance Service providing back up and help to reduce response times within their local community saving precious minutes and hopefully saving lives.
Community Responders come from all walks of life, from St John Ambulance, British Red Cross, and people with just a First Aid at Work Certificate.
Within the UK, Community Responder Schemes are run in different ways. Some schemes are self funding such as ours and some are run by the local NHS Trust. However organised they all have the same goal, saving lives.
A lot of Schemes were kick started by the National Defibrillator Programme run jointly by the Government and the British Heart Foundation which provided the initial equipment for many Groups.
A Trust’s region such as in Berkshire is split up into many groups with each group organising cover through a rota system. Here in Berkshire, the Responders are coordinated through the South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust, which provides training, the inital equipment and ongoing support. However, even though the initial equipment is funded, income is still required for publicity, additional equipment, protective clothing and other expenses.