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Responsibilities of the First Responder

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Certified first responders are responsible for assisting patients at the scene. All first responders must complete an Emergency Medical Services certification course. Other courses or certificates are needed in some jurisdictions.

First On Scene

The first responder goes immediately to the scene after the emergency call comes in. He must be familiar with the area and able to use navigational tools to . take the most direct and fastest route to the scene. First responders must obey all the rules of the road, except for speed limits.


The first responder quickly assesses the scene and locates the patient. She diagnoses the patient and begins treatment. She looks for any medical certificates, such as a bracelet or charm. She uses a radio to communicate with a dispatcher and request additional assistance or equipment if needed.


The first responder monitors the patient until more help arrives. In cases of head trauma, the responder talks to the patient to help in diagnosis and reassures the patient and bystanders that help is on the way or that the patient is about to be transported to a hospital.


The responder notifies superiors and the police of a death. She must assist in ensuring all evidence at a crime scene is not tampered with prior to police arriving. The area must be sealed, even if there is only a suspicion of a crime. She cleans up medical equipment, disposes of waste, replaces supplies and cleans any contaminated equipment. She ensures the service vehicle is operable, including checking fluids, air pressure and fuel levels.