Community Hero: John – St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes Awards

When community first responders were
first envisaged, it was a real breakthrough. We set up a model of
community first responders that was particularly appropriate for St John
Ambulance by establishing units where we would recruit people in their local
communities. I went to London Ambulance Service and we worked with them,
explained our model and engaged them. Our management team in London started in
2008 when we set up our relationship with London Ambulance Service. It became very quickly apparent that there wasn’t the capacity and in many ways also the capability within the London Ambulance Service to find volunteers and train
them which is when I first met John Newman and it didn’t take long before we
came up with a joint scheme with St John Ambulance. We are there most times before the ambulance service only because we know it is in our community
whereas of course the ambulance service they may come from other areas outside
London. I think the community first responders help the community by being there quickly and helping the patient to calm down, the family to calm down, or
where you’ve been able to go to somebody who was supposedly just a sick person
and find that they are a lot sicker than they were and be able to call the
ambulance desk and thereby getting help quickly. John: When the ambulance crew arrive,
they work with the ambulance crew they give a structured handover. Chris: For frontline ambulance personnel arriving on scene finding that there’s someone there
already competent already undertaking what they would be doing in the initial
stages gives them a huge sense of relief because it’s much more likely to have a
satisfactory outcome if you find that situation. Community first responders, you could never have enough of them. We could
actually make a huge difference if we had a community first responder in every
street of London on call 24 hours a day seven days a week. The more you’d have,
the greater the chance you’d have of people surviving and people actually
being fit and well and have good quality of life after their illness.


  1. John was named as one of our Community Heroes for 2018 at the Everyday Heroes awards. Who is your Everyday Hero?

  2. Currently as building work processes around Battersea power station. This area will become a cultural hub in the decades to come. Scaffolding on the West Turbine Hall wall has been removed to reveal the new look vertical windows.
    Companies like Apple are planning to move into the Power Station in 2022.

    At present Only one Community First Responder unit is allowed in each of all 32 London Boroughs. So there should be 32 units in London.
    Wandsworths unique river Shape boundary divides and separates two area with a downwards bend of the River. Dividing up both Putney and Roehampton areas well away from Battersea-9-Elms in the East. The geography of this part of London and the bottleneck that is York Road. Can be a difference in response times.

    A second Community First Responders unit should be Focused around North Battersea by 2022. Giving Wandsworth the goal of having two dedicated teams covering the Borough of Wandsworth. Scrap the one unit per Borough policy, if in the long term Londoners get more out of hours community based lead First Aid cover.
    As John Newman says. A Community First Responder in every street, would make a huge difference.


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