Volunteering as a CFR with EMAS – Kuldip’s story




In recognition of Volunteers’ Week 2024 and linked to our bi-monthly Spotlight on Anti-Racism, we are highlighting the diversity and inclusion of our volunteer base.

This month we hear from a Community First Responder (CFR) who shares his thoughts on why he became a volunteer, the role he does and what he has gained from it.

Kuldip Singh Bhele EMAS CFRMy name is Kuldip Singh Bhele. I am a Community First Responder with East Midlands Ambulance Service and I have been volunteering for 4 years.

What inspired you to become a Community First Responder?

My father was fatally injured in a workplace accident. The incident was attended by a Volunteer EMICS Critical Care Doctor, and seeing his amazing work and passion really inspired me to volunteer for the Ambulance Service.

How was the recruitment and training process?

The recruitment process was very simple and the training was great. I felt welcomed the moment I walked through the door and the course was designed for people like me who had no medical knowledge before joining.

Can you describe what you do in your volunteering role?

As a Community First Responder, I respond to emergency calls on behalf of East Midlands Ambulance Service. As I am already local to the incident I often get there before the ambulance, and therefore I can start providing care and treatment to the patient early.

What do you find especially rewarding about the role?

I find helping people and being there for them, when they need someone the most, to be very rewarding. There is no better feeling than knowing I’ve helped someone in their time of need.

What are the challenges?

The challenges are being able to detach yourself from a job; some jobs would just always stay with you.

As a member of our BME community, what challenges have you faced which might not have impacted on other volunteers?

Thankfully I have received no challenges from EMAS, however I have had a racial comment made to me on a job.

What advice would you give to people from BME communities who are considering volunteering for an ambulance service?

I would advise to not be afraid and to get involved! As a Sikh, it is in our religion to do “Seva” which means selfless service, and there is no greater form of selfless service than volunteering for the ambulance service and saving someone’s life.

Tell us about the difference you feel you make as a volunteer from a BME background

As a BME Volunteer I have definitely been able to make a difference, especially on jobs where there has been a language barrier.  I’ve been able to translate and get the crews the vital information they need to undertake a thorough clinical assessment.

We’ll continue to post our Spotlight updates every other month in our website’s News section and via Twitter at @AACE_Org.

You can find more information about our anti-racism promises, along with messages from all of our Ambulance Trust CEOs on our Stamping Out Racism page.

You can view all of our previous Spotlight on Anti-Racism features here.