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Hertfordshire launches new Cardiac Arrest Alert Scheme

Following a successful pilot in Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire went live with the scheme last month.

The scheme will see first-aid trained officers using the GoodSAM app which will alert them when they are within 800m of someone in suspected cardiac arrest. 

The officer would be alerted by a wailing sound and can then voluntarily attend the person to provide CPR until an ambulance arrives. 

For a notification to come through, the ambulance service would have been alerted already by a 999 call. It does not replace the ambulance response. 

The scheme is being rolled out in partnership with the East of England Ambulance Service and GoodSAM technology - which is being used in a number of forces for a range of uses including domestic abuse situations. 

One of the key features of the app is that it has really precise location services. 

Hertfordshire has told Police Oracle, that if an officer is on duty and dealing with a live incident when they are alerted, they can seek instant advice from the control room who will conduct a risk assessment and tell them which to prioritise. 

Officers can ‘reject’ the call, and the alert would go to the next nearest first aid responder. 

PCSOs, Specials and first aid trained staff are also included in the scheme. 

Chief Superintendent Dean Patient said: “We are pleased to be involved in this fantastic initiative that undoubtedly has the potential to save lives.

“While this is a great initiative and could literally be the difference between life or death, it is important to emphasise that we are not doing the work of the ambulance service and ambulances will not be dispatched any differently because of this. With each alert there will already be multiple ambulances on route, however the alert will mean that if a police officer or any other medical professional, such as an off-duty doctor or paramedic, is close by they will be notified.

“For each minute that passes where CPR is not being given to someone suffering cardiac arrest, chances of survival drop by ten percent and if our officers or a suitably first aid trained staff member are close by they can begin the first aid process and possibly save someone’s life.” 

Nicholas Jones, IM&T Service Delivery Manager (Clinical Applications) with EEAST, said: “We are delighted to be working with our blue light partners at Hertfordshire Constabulary to further roll out this life-saving initiative. It will increase the number of trained first aiders who are able to respond to our most seriously-ill patients and begin delivering CPR until our crews arrive, which can make all the difference with a cardiac arrest where every minute counts.

“It’s important to stress that GoodSAM is not a replacement for the emergency ambulance response, but an additional resource which will help us to further improve the service we provide to our patients. Our crews will continue to be dispatched in the same way and will work alongside the GoodSAM volunteer to provide advanced treatment as soon as they arrive on scene, in turn giving the patient the best possible chance of a good outcome.”

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