What does a First Responder do? How are First Responders different from First Aiders?
We saw both St John Ambulance and Chandler’s Ford & Eastleigh Community First Responders at the Fryern Funtasia in Chandler’s Ford on Monday.
Let me explain.
First Aiders provide first aid – as per (in the UK) the First Aid Manual.
There are also numerous private first aid providers. Most work places will also have workplace first aiders (exactly how many, and what level of qualification, depends on a number of factors, such as number of employees, type of work, location, etc.).
Workplace First Aiders are trained to the First Aid at Work (or Appointed Persons) syllabus set by the Health and Safety Executive; First Aiders from the voluntary first aid providers are generally trained to a higher level.
First Aider and First Responder
The role of a First Aider is to provide initial treatment to somebody who is injured or ill. They will, depending in the severity of the incident, either complete treatment and discharge the patient, or pass the patient to more qualified medical staff (e.g. ambulance crew, paramedic, hospital).
First Responders have a slightly different role. They still provide initial treatment to an injured or ill person. However, the major difference is that they work (voluntarily) for the NHS ambulance service and are there to provide treatment until an ambulance arrives.
This isn’t meant to diminish the importance of their role.
Numerous studies have proved that the sooner an injured person receives treatment, the better their chances of survival. An ambulance may have to come several miles; first responders are based locally and can often get there more quickly. First responders are mobilised by the ambulance service when an ambulance is called.
Who is better qualified? That’s impossible to answer – because their roles are different, their training is different. First Aiders are trained to deal with incidents that first responders aren’t; First Responders can perform treatment that First Aiders can’t. Ultimately they both provide treatment to the level of their skill and qualification.