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A first responder is a person who has completed a course and received certification in providing pre-hospital care for medical emergencies. They have more skill than someone who is trained in basic first aid but they are not a substitute for advanced medical care rendered by emergency medical technicians, emergency physicians, nurses, or paramedics.

For our purposes the term "certified first responder" includes "first responders", which is a term referring to the first medically trained responder to arrive on scene (police, fire, EMS).  Emergency responders are tested during a training exercise.

First Responders in the US can support Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics, provide basic first aid for soft tissue and bone injuries and assist in childbirth. They are also trained in packaging, moving and transporting patients.

Lifesaving skills in the first responder course include recognizing unsafe scenarios and hazardous materials emergencies, protection from blood borne pathogens, controlling bleeding, applying splints, conducting a primary life-saving patient assessment, in-line spinal stabilization and transport, and calling for more advanced medical help.

Emergency medical oxygen is a common supplementary skill that may be added in accordance with the 1995 DOT First Responder: National Standard Curriculum guidelines or under the authority of EMS agencies or training providers such as the American Red Cross. Other supplementary skills at this level can include the taking of vital signs including manual blood pressures, advanced splinting and the use of the Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

First Responders can serve as providers with some volunteer EMS services. A certified first responder can be seen either as an advanced first aid provider, or as a limited provider of emergency medical care when more advanced providers are not yet on scene or available.

The National Fire Protection Association regulations 1006 and 1670 state that all "rescuers" must have medical training to perform any technical rescue operation, including cutting the vehicle itself during an extrication. Therefore, in most all rescue environments, whether it is an EMS Department or Fire Department that runs the rescue, the actual rescuers who cut the vehicle and run the extrication scene or perform any rescue such as rope rescues, etc., are Medical First Responders, Emergency Medical Technicians, or Paramedics, as most every rescue has a patient involved.

Traditional first responders:  The first responder training is considered a bare minimum for emergency service workers who may be sent out in response to a call for help and is almost always required for professional firefighters, such as the FDNY, who require valid CFR-D (Certified First Responder-Defibrillation) certification for all firefighters. The first responder level of emergency medical training is often for police officers.

Non-traditional first responders:  Many people, who do not fall into the earlier mentioned categories, seek out or receive Certified First Responder training through their employment because they are likely to be first on the scene of a medical emergency, or because they work far from medical help.

Some of these non-traditional first responders may include:


Taken from
Wikipedia contributors. "Certified first responder." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 10 Aug.2011. Web. 15 Aug.2011.