first responder


Definition of first responder

: a person (such as a police officer or an EMT) who is among those responsible for going immediately to the scene of an accident or emergency to provide assistance

Examples of first responder in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

When first responders arrived, both trucks were in flames. Marisa Peryer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Released footage of Interstate 94 accident shows explosion at scene," 20 June 2019 However, there are already ways for first responders to move sensitive communications to encrypted channels. The Denver Post Editorial Board, The Denver Post, "Editorial: Keep police and fire radio communications open and transparent," 14 June 2019 But first responders in Hartford and its suburbs weren’t the only ones calling the Connecticut Department of Health. Rebecca Lurye,, "Uptick in drug deaths coincides with start of statewide program to track opioid overdoses across Connecticut," 7 June 2019 Welcome to Montana, and thank you President Trump for supporting Jon’s legislation to help veterans and first responders, hold the VA accountable, and get rid of waste, fraud and abuse in the federal government,’’ the ad read. Catherine Lucey And Matt Volz,, "Trump urges senator’s ouster at rally for Montana Republican," 5 July 2018 Salute & Serve Mondays: The team is giving away two free tickets to active-duty, retired military, veterans and first responders who have valid ID, based on availability., "Miami Marlins offer freebies and savings for 2018 season | Doreen's Deals," 30 Mar. 2018 The eight-year-old nonprofit is made up of 70 veterans and first responders, Anita J. Foster, a Team Rubicon spokeswoman said in a release. Alyson Ward, Houston Chronicle, "More than 4,000 volunteers will help rebuild Harvey-damaged homes," 3 Mar. 2018 Please continue to follow @JSOPIO for updates and cooperate with first responders and law enforcement at the scene. Emilie Ikeda, Fox News, "Florida candidates flock to Jacksonville ahead of highly anticipated primary," 27 Aug. 2018 In iOS 12, people who call 911 using an iPhone would have their location automatically shared with first responders, potentially reducing the time for the victim of an accident, crime, fire or health emergency to get help in a life-saving situation. Edward C. Baig, USA TODAY, "Apple launches iOS 12 public beta: How it will change your iPhone and iPad," 25 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'first responder.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of first responder

1970, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about first responder

Statistics for first responder

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for first responder

The first known use of first responder was in 1970

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for first responder

first responder

first re·​spond·​er | \ -ri-ˈspän-dər\

Kids Definition of first responder

: a person (as a police officer or an EMT) who is responsible for going immediately to the scene of an accident or emergency to provide help

Comments on first responder

What made you want to look up first responder? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing courage and determination

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!