30 November 2017


On this page you should find information about the requirements for joining our specific scheme. For further queries, please contact us.

Recruitment takes place once a year starting in late September, with training taking place in October/November.

If you have any questions about recruitment not answered below, please contact recruitment@cfrleeds.org.uk.

What’s involved as a CFR volunteer?

As a volunteer you will be provided with initial and ongoing training, equipment and support from Yorkshire Ambulance Service and our scheme. In return, we expect you to volunteer a minimum of 15 hours per month. We use an online rota to offer a flexible pattern. During this time you will be paired with another CFR and based together ‘on call’ to respond alongside ambulance crews to medical emergencies in the local area.

Having read more about us, it’s great that you are interested in joining the scheme. There are a few requirements to apply, some of which are specific to our scheme:

  • You must be aged over 18
  • You must be a medical or other healthcare student at the University of Leeds
  • You must be willing to undergo an enhanced DBS check and occupational health screening
  • You must be ready to commit to two years volunteering
  • You must be able to volunteer 15 hours per month
  • No prior direct first aid experience is required but we do assume some basic knowledge from your curriculum as well as some previous patient exposure during student placements.

However, if you do not meet the criteria to join our scheme but are still interested in becoming a CFR, there are a number of other open schemes in the local area that are always looking for volunteers. We work alongside these teams and even share resources at certain times of year. Please contact us for details of neighbouring schemes or for more information on YAS CFRs visit http://www.communityresponders.yas.nhs.uk.

Things to consider

Start by having a read of this site for more details of what to expect.

Time commitment: you will be caring for real patients in the ‘real’ world and as such it is important you volunteer regularly to keep your skills up to date. Please consider this before you apply. If you cannot maintain the commitment, we may ask you to leave the scheme. That said, most of our volunteers juggle a range of other commitments alongside CFR and their studies! If you are unsure, the recruitment information evening is a great opportunity to talk to our volunteers and find out more.

Nature of incidents: CFRs attend a range of medical emergencies right up to the most serious, which are cardiac arrests. While we are always there to offer help to patients, sometimes you may not be successful or we may be faced with situations that are difficult to manage. CFRs are not dispatched to trauma, patients under 8 years old or incidents with drugs or alcohol, based on the information received by call handlers. We offer all CFRs post-incident support and they have access to YAS support services. You should accept that you may attend a cardiac arrest. This could be on your first or your hundredth call out. Most CFRs have attended difficult calls but are comforted knowing that they have supported the excellent work of YAS crews and offered help to patients and their families at difficult times in their lives.

Pairings: we operate an online rota system where you can volunteer for shifts at times when you are available. We will always pair a passenger with a driver (though two drivers can volunteer together). Volunteering as a CFR is a great opportunity to meet students in other years and share experience around the scheme. If your housemate is also a CFR, that’s great but we will still expect you to book on with other people as well! Solo responding is only permitted when you have been signed off to do this having attended a sufficient number of high priority calls.

Maturity: CFRs may attend 999 calls as the first resource on scene and will interact with the general public on behalf of Yorkshire Ambulance Service. You must behave professionally at all times. While our scheme has no formal relationship with the University of Leeds, you will be expected to adhere to professionalism guidelines laid out by the medical school in addition to those from YAS.

Down time: the nature of prehospital care is that you spend a lot of time ‘waiting’ for incidents. There is no ‘typical’ shift but do expect to spend most of your on-call time at home with your pair (some people revise anatomy, some people scroll through funny cat memes). Equally, the most serious calls do not come with forewarning so you should be prepared to ‘switch on’ to CFR mode quickly when required.

A note on driving: we dispatch CFRs in pairs, so roughly 50% of our scheme members are drivers. We currently do not have a scheme vehicle so these people volunteer to use their own vehicles. They drive under normal road conditions (respecting speed limits, with no blue lights) and can receive remuneration for mileage. Those wanting to drive for the scheme should have at least one year’s regular driving experience, a clean driving licence and access to a comprehensively insured vehicle of their own. If you fulfil the criteria for becoming a driver and wish to do so, you should indicate this in the relevant section of the application form.

Unlike with other CFR schemes, it is not a requirement to be a driver to apply to join us. Most of our drivers are in later years of the MBChB course and we actively welcome applications from students who do not drive, particularly those in earlier years.

Still interested in volunteering?

Well done – getting this far shows you’re keen! Each year we look to recruit a number of new trainees to join our scheme. Recruitment takes place in the autumn and comprises a number of stages.

Recruitment cycles start in late September each year. Outside of this cycle, we would encourage you to get in touch to demonstrate your enthusiasm and we may be able to invite you to attend a CPD evening to find out more.

Each year the number of applications is considerably greater than the number of spaces we have for new trainees. Therefore please put thought into your application and if you are unsuccessful, we would encourage you to apply again the following year if you are still interested.

Stage 1: attend an information evening to meet the team, find out more about the commitments involved, check your expectations and answer any questions. Details of this will be posted here, on our Facebook page, Twitter page and on the medical societies mailing list.

Stage 2: complete an online application form. This will be sent to you after attending the information evening. You will need to provide some basic personal details as well as explaining to us why you want to join the scheme.

Stage 3: shortlisted applicants will be invited to a short 5-10 minute interview. This will be fairly informal and will be a chance for us to get to know you a little better. Interviews will be be with a minimum of 3 people, including committee members who are active CFRs and one healthcare professional with relevant experience.

Stage 4: successful candidates will be invited to submit relevant paperwork (ID, driving licence) and complete a DBS check. This will be a quick-turnaround so if you foresee any delays (for example because you have lived abroad), please advice us of this when you apply.

Stage 5: once your file has been cleared with YAS, you will be invited to attend a 3 day training course in either Leeds or Wakefield. You must attend training within 3 months.

Once your initial training has been completed, you will be allocated a more experienced ‘mentor’ and you will spend your first few shifts working with them and other experienced CFRs. After you have volunteered 50 hours ‘on call’, you will become a fully-fledged YAS CFR and be able to volunteer at any time on the general rota.

Revalidation is held annually and we hold CPD events throughout the year to help you refresh your skills and develop your experience within the CFR scope of practice.


Link to Facebook event to follow shortly….

Recruitment Information Evening – Thursday 26th September 2019
Online Application Deadline – Wednesday 2nd October 2019 (midnight)

Interview invitations – by Sunday 6th October 2019
Interviews & DBS checks – Wed 9th & Thu 10th October 2019 (evening)

You will then be required to attend one training course:

Training course 1 (Year 3+ only, 2 day) – Sat 26th & Sun 27th October 2019

Training course 2 (All, 3 day) – Sat 2nd, Sun 3rd & Sat 9th November 2019