Willing to Aid, Able to Aid

First Respond

3. Good Health and Well-Being 5. Gender Equality 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities


20% to 30% of the population in the U.S. is trained with emergency response knowledge. This number is considered low, compared with 60% - 70% in countries such as Denmark. However, in China this number is no more than 1%. First Respond aims to address the social challenges posed by the surprising shortage of emergency response and knowledge capabilities in China.


Fang Wan

Fang Wan

Sylvester Piu

Sylvester Piu


TIAS School for Business and Society

TIAS School for Business and Society


Mirjam Minderman

Mirjam Minderman


The journey of First Respond began with a most common symptom of sudden cardiac arrest, which can occur during athletic events or among those who suffer from heart problems. As of 2017, about 500,000 people in China have died from sudden cardiac arrest, 15% of which happened in public areas. While in countries such as Japan, the survival rate of sudden cardiac arrest is as high as 90%, the same rate is less than 1% in China, says Robin Lu, COO and partner of First Respond.

Founded by a group of alumni from CEIBS (China Europe International Business School) in 2012, First Respond provides four levels of emergency response training and service to the common public, enterprises, schools and institutions, as well as government departments through on-line and off-line channels. The different levels of training and service were developed as the company steadily expanded the scope of its innovation from a first aid training provider to an emergency response system partner.

  • First level - entry level training, where trainees were taught basic skills of CPR and first aid;
  • Second level – scenario specific training, such as event-based training, in-office training and school training, where participants were shown how to react under particular circumstances;
  • Third level – leadership training, the goal of which is to have lead rescuers who are capable of making fast and effective decisions in all types of situations, and
  • Fourth level – emergency team training, which provides not only specific first aid service, but a complete emergency response solution based on characteristics of events and scenarios.

Willing to Aid, Able to Aid


In 2011, an alumnus of CEIBS (China Europe International Business School) suffered from sudden cardiac arrest when he was competing in a race in Shenzhen, a coastal city in South China. Time is of utmost importance when it comes to the survival of sudden cardiac arrest patients, about 240 seconds, says Robin Lu. Without in-time first aid from the people on site, the CEIBS alumnus passed away.

The tragedy, as well as the lack of first aid capabilities in Chinese society, shocked the founder of First Respond Le Lu, an EMBA student in CEIBS. Triggered by the incident, Le Lu decided to partner with his fellow classmates to start a new organization to teach Chinese citizens first aid knowledge, so that more people will be able to provide proper help to others who are in need. The new organization, First Respond, was established, with the belief that “common citizens can be a powerful rescue workforce in emergencies when equipped with sufficient and proper knowledge” as pointed out by Robin Lu.

Overall impact

By September 2019,

  • 19 lives saved from sudden cardiac arrest
  • Ensured safe operations in 400 race events for 150,000 runners
  • 29,580 certified volunteers in First Respond Volunteer Network
  • 195,520 hours contributed by First Respond volunteers
  • 100,000+ people touched through partnership with SDG well building standard
  • 165 schools covered by Youth Safety Program
  • 300,000+ adults and children trained with entry level emergency response skills
  • 400+ organization clients using First Respond services and solutions
  • 25 partners nationwide


  • First Respond influenced the publishing of the Good Samaritan Law in China in 2017
  • Partnered with Ping An insurance and developed a new insurance for first aid volunteers
  • Co-operate with established Chinese enterprises, such as Huawei, Alibaba and Hai Di Lao, for the installation and training of in-building emergency devices such as AED, as well as the enhancement of in-building emergency response capabilities among employees
  • Live stream, providing advice on protecting oneself from coronavirus to the common public in January 2020, attracting over 100,000 views

Long-term future impact includes:

  • To roll out nationwide in China with service and training programs
  • To further partner with schools and education institutions for early first aid education in the young generation
  • To engage in public health data collection andmonitoring, from which to provide professional advice in times of pandemic
  • To continue offering industry-specific solutions

Business benefit

Since its establishment, First Respond has created over 60 permanent jobs. The company is also able to finance itself from the revenue generated from the core business activities. Robin Lu shared, “It is not easy to find the balance between making profit and sustaining socially beneficial activities, but First Respond is doing quite well.” As of September 2019, over 400 organizations in China have started working with First Respond for their emergency response services and solutions, of which 20% are in education, 17% in banking and insurance, 13% in IT and Communications, 10% in Sports and 10% in NGOs.

Social and environmental benefit

In the core business, the social impact made by First Respond includes:

  • Enhance social awareness of emergency response
  • Empower public citizens with knowledge and skills
  • Improve social morality, and
  • Save lives

In addition to the area of emergency response, First Respond also contributes to gender equality, with over 50% permanent female employees.


Robin Lu, COO

Photo of interviewee

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First Respond

First Respond

Shanghai, Shanghai, CN

Business Website: https://en.sos919.com.cn/

Year Founded: 2012

Number of Employees: 51 to 200

First Respond, established to fill the knowledge gap among Chinese citizens about First Aid, is not only the very first certified B-Corp Chinese company but also the only one in existence at the publication date of this article. Eight years since its establishment, the company has extended its core business from being a first aid training provider to emergency response solution partner in sporting events, enterprises, buildings and public infrastructures as well as public health.