A first responder is a person with specialized training who is among the first to arrive and provide assistance at the scene of an emergency, such as an accident, natural disaster, or terrorism. First responders typically include paramedics, emergency medical technicians, police officers, firefighters, rescuers, military personnel, public works, and other trained members of organizations connected with this type of work. In some areas, emergency department personnel are also required to respond to disasters and critical situations making them first responders.
A certified first responder is one who has received certification to provide pre-hospital care in a certain jurisdiction, for example, the Certified First Responder in France. A is a person dispatched to attend medical emergencies until an ambulance arrives. A wilderness first responder is trained to provide pre-hospital care in remote settings and will therefore have skills in ad hoc patient packaging and transport by non-motorized means.
First responders must be trained to deal with a wide array of potential medical emergencies. Because of the high level of stress and uncertainty associated with the position, first responders must maintain physical and mental health. Even with such preparation, first responders face unique risks of being the first people to aid those with unknown contagions. For example, in 2003 first responders were among the earliest victims of the previously unknown SARS virus, when they cared for patients affected with the virus.
Trauma and first responders