Working together for a resilient Birmingham.

Midlands Emergency Response

Midlands Emergency Response are a team of community first responders (CFRs) trained by West Midlands Ambulance Service to a nationally recognised level.  Volunteers give their free time to support the ambulance service by attending 999 emergencies in our local areas, working closely alongside paramedics and ambulance crews. 

How does it work?

When a 999 call is made and an ambulance is dispatched, the ambulance control room will also decide to dispatch the ‘on call’ CFR, if they are available and are within a 7 minute response time of the incident. The CFR is not dispatched in place of a conventional ambulance resource – but as a First Response resource. The aim is that a responder may arrive first to begin life saving treatments while an ambulance is still on the way.

Why do we need Community First Responders?

Cardiac arrest is a leading cause of premature death in the UK, and while its difficult to put a figure to the exact number of cases each year, there’s one thing which all medical staff do agree on – EARLY INTERVENSION SAVES LIVES. 

In Cardiac Arrest the normal electrical rhythm that controls the heart is replaced by a chaotic disorganised rhythm called Ventricular Fibrillation (VF). Only one treatment has been found to be effective; DEFIBRILLATION.  The quicker VF can be treated by defibrillation the greater the chance of successful resuscitation. This is where a Community First Responder can save lives. 

CFRs are trained on the following principles known as the ‘Chain of Survival’:

1) Early Ambulance Access,

2) Early Effective CPR,

3) Early Defibrillation,

4) Early Advance Life Support . 


… But That’s Not All

Saving lives through the delivery of prompt pre-hospital emergency care is the main objective of our responders, but our skills are not just limited to this. We’re also trained to deal with other kinds of medical emergencies and are often assigned to varying 999 calls. Examples of such calls could be;  

– A person CHOKING

– Someone suffering a CATASTROPHIC BLEED

– An athsmatic with acute RESPIRITORY DISTRESS

– Someone experiencing CHEST PAIN

– A diabetic person suffering a DIABETIC EMERGENCY

– Someone suffering TRAUMA (falls / broken bones / cuts)


Where are Community First Responders based?

Across the UK there is a growing number of Community First Responder schemes, which is fantastic news for our communities. Typically many of these schemes respond in rural villages or in small areas on the edge of urban connurbations. Midlands Emergency Response is unique in the way we operate – we have a network of CFRs located in various areas across the West Midlands.

 Our office is based at Coleshill Fire Station, and while we have a number of responders within Coleshill, we also have a large team of CFRs spread out across Birmingham, Coventry and Warwickshire.

To find out more or to volunteer visit:

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