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

Here, the first responders are typically pairs of hoodie-wearing crisis workers and medics driving white vans stocked with medical supplies, blankets and water. Zusha Elinson, WSJ, "When Mental-Health Experts, Not Police, Are the First Responders," 24 Nov. 2018 Expands an existing program that attempts to get more first responders, such as police and firefighters, to carry and use naloxone, a medication that reverses opioid overdoses. German Lopez, Vox, "Trump just signed a bipartisan bill to confront the opioid epidemic," 24 Oct. 2018 The first responders to a crisis that would soon captivate millions were the musicians in her yard, Napasorn said. Shibani Mahtani, Washington Post, "‘Time is running out’: Inside the treacherous rescue of boys trapped in a Thai cave," 13 July 2018 Thai Navy SEALs Thailand’s Navy SEALs were among the first responders, and remained at the forefront of search and rescue from start to finish., "These People Helped Keep Thai Soccer Team Alive in Flooded Cave," 11 July 2018 The government said first responders were also among the injured. NBC News, "Fireworks explosion near Mexico City kills 17, injures 31," 5 July 2018 Of the funding, $2.2 million is reserved for San Francisco Unified School District educators and first responders, who can make up to 200 percent of median income. Kathleen Pender,, "Enter soon for chance to score $375,000 in SF down-payment lottery," 5 July 2018 Celebrate our nation by waving flags, watching parades, and rightly honoring first responders, law enforcement, the armed services, and veterans. John Baer,, "Take a moment, America | John Baer," 3 July 2018 Houston police were called to the Westbury Reserve apartments, on 12261 Fondren, around 11:30 p.m. One man had been shot, and first responders were unable to resuscitate him at the scene, said Lt. Samantha Ketterer, Houston Chronicle, "Son in custody in fatal shooting of father in SW Houston," 11 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.

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First Known Use of first responder

1970, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for first responder

The first known use of first responder was in 1970

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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

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