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Emergency Medicine International
Volume 2016, Article ID 1915895, 7 pages
Research Article

Reducing Time to First on Scene: An Ambulance-Community First Responder Scheme

1School of Clinical Medicine, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, University of Cambridge, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 0SP, UK
2Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, Tonbridge Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 4QJ, UK

Received 10 December 2015; Revised 17 February 2016; Accepted 14 March 2016

Academic Editor: Selim Suner

Copyright © 2016 Alan Campbell and Matt Ellington. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The importance of early access to prehospital care has been demonstrated in many medical emergencies. This work aims to describe the potential time benefit of implementing a student Community First Responder scheme to support ambulance services in an inner-city setting in the United Kingdom. Twenty final and penultimate year medical students in the UK were trained in the “First Person on Scene” Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) qualification. Over 12 months, they attended 89 emergency calls in an inner-city setting as Community First Responders (CFRs), alongside the West Midlands Ambulance Service, UK. At the end of this period, a qualitative survey investigated the perceived educational value of the scheme. The mean CFR response time across all calls was an average of 3 minutes and 8 seconds less than ambulance crew response times. The largest difference was to calls relating to falls (12 min). The difference varied throughout the day, peaking between 16:00 and 18:00. All questionnaire respondents stated that they felt more prepared in assessing and treating acutely unwell patients. In this paper, the authors present a symbiotic solution which has both reduced time to first on scene and provided training and experience in medical emergencies for senior medical students.