Here are answers to some frequently asked questions that we receive about registering as a GoodSAM Responder, what to expect when you receive an alert and how we use your essential information.
About the GoodSAM app
GoodSAM is a free, global, smartphone app that alerts registered Responders when someone nearby is in cardiac arrest.
Responders are able to navigate to the personin need to provide CPR and – in some instances – also apply an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) prior to emergency services arriving.
It takes a community to save a life – a person’s chance of surviving a cardiac arrest reduces by up to 10% for every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation. GoodSAM aims to provide rapid assistance to patients in those first critical minutes, while paramedics and emergency services are on the way.
Ambulance Victoria (AV) introduced the GoodSAM app to Victoria in 2018, initially piloted by health professionals and first-aid trained colleagues from partner organisations.
Our program has now expanded to include a diverse community of registered Responders who are willing and able to provide CPR, and are familiar with the use of an AED.
When a cardiac arrest emergency call is made to Triple Zero (000), the GoodSAM app alerts up to three nearby Responders to the incident, providing both the location of the patient as well as the closest accessible AEDs. GoodSAM enables the Responder to provide immediate CPR and – if one is available – apply an AED.
An emergency ambulance, and in some areas specially trained fire services, will always be dispatched at the same time.
Absolutely! Downloading the GoodSAM app and becoming a Responder is entirely voluntary.
Responders also have the option to either accept or reject an alert based on their availability, and at any stage after accepting an alert can elect to drop the call.
The app was developed and is in use in the United Kingdom as well as in New Zealand, India, USA, Brazil, South Africa and other parts of Australia. More than 32,000 notifications have been sent to GoodSAM Responders worldwide.
Any adult (over the age of 18) who is willing and able to provide CPR, and are familiar with the use of an AED.
While Responders are not required to have completed formal First Aid or CPR training to register, it is expected that they have the skills and knowledge to provide CPR and use an AED.
This is as simple as watching this short video https://youtu.be/oH7KciZ3UAQ
If you would like to complete a nationally recognised training provided by a Registered Training Organisation, we recommend any of the below units:
- HLTAID009 – Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
- HLTAID010 – Provide Basic Emergency Life Support
- HLTAID011 – Provide First Aid
- HLTAID013 – Provide First Aid in Remote Situations
- HLTAID014 – Provide Advanced First Aid
- HLTAID015 – Provide advanced resuscitation and oxygen therapy
Health professionals registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) are eligible to register as GoodSAM Responders.
Responders who are not registered health professionals must not provide care beyond a first aid skill set.
AV may use your information to contact you in relation to your involvement in GoodSAM, including updates on program activity and to provide follow-up information and support in the days after any responses you participate in.
If your personal details change please log-in to the GoodSAM portal found at goodsamapp.org/login to update your information.
If you no longer wish to be registered as a GoodSAM Responder, simply uninstall the app from your phone and email firstname.lastname@example.org to advise the GoodSAM team.
Downloading the GoodSAM app
The app is available now through the app store on both android and iOS phones – search for GoodSAM Responder.
You only need to download the GoodSAM Responder app.
AV does not use the GoodSAM Alerter app, which was designed for use in areas where there is no central emergency phone number and/or ambulance service.
In an emergency in Australia, always call Triple Zero (000).
Before you can sign in, you first need to register with GoodSAM. It can be done quickly through this website https://www.goodsamapp.org/AV.
Below we have included some helpful tips:
- Upload photo identification (please use your driver’s license or another form of approved photo ID).
- Please check (and double check!) that your email address is spelt correctly.
- Most Responders should select ‘Australia: Public’ as their Registration Body.
- Alternatively, people with formal first aid or health qualifications can select ‘GoodSAM’ as their Registration Body and upload evidence of formal qualifications.
- Other than the documents required for upload there is no difference to registering under either Registration Body.
Once registration is complete you will receive a confirmation email from GoodSAM. Please check your junk mail or spam folder if you don’t receive this.
You will need to verify your email address in order for GoodSAM to process your registration.
You will receive another email when your details have been verified and qualifications or identity approved, prompting you to log-in to the GoodSAM Responder app on your smartphone.
As the GoodSAM program expands we are receiving an increase in registrations. To ensure the identity and suitability of our Responders we verify each of these individually. You can check the progress of your registration at any time by logging into the portal at www.goodsamapp.org
By signing up to GoodSAM you agree to the Terms and Conditions, including the GoodSAM Code of Conduct, which is available to view in the GoodSAM app.
The Code of Conduct outlines expected behaviours when responding to a GoodSAM alert in Victoria.
When you sign up as a Responder, you agree to abide by this Code, which has ten key areas of personal responsibility:
- You are responsible for your health and safety
- You are responsible for your own knowledge and skills
- You should travel to the scene on foot wherever possible. Normal road rules still apply if you do drive
- Respond only if you are alert and prepared
- Provide patient care within your skill set
- Handover patient care when emergency services arrive
- Ensure you’re healthy and unimpaired to respond
- Your participation is voluntary
- Patient privacy and confidentiality is paramount
- You are responding as a Good Samaritan.
To fully understand your responsibilities, please read the Code of Conduct when you download the GoodSAM Responder app. You can also review the current Code any time within the app.
You will only be asked to attend a cardiac arrest when CPR and the use of an AED is likely to improve the patient’s outcome.
For safety and operational reasons, AV excludes some cases from GoodSAM or may send you a cancellation message when you’re on the way to a patient. For your safety, always follow these instructions.
Yes. In Victoria, 3 out of 4 cardiac arrests occur within the home, so the app will alert you to cardiac arrest patients in private residences
No. GoodSAM will only alert you to patients where information from the Triple Zero (000) caller indicates someone is in cardiac arrest.
Take some time to explore the app including the location of AEDs around you.
The Simulate An Alert feature allows you to explore the functionality of the app, including: how to navigate your way to the scene, where to find case location details, communicating within the app, and where to change other personal settings.
It’s a good idea to explore this feature so you feel more comfortable when you receive a real alert. You won’t unintentionally create a GoodSAM alert by using this feature and can try it as often as you like.
You will be alerted if you are one of the three closest GoodSAM Responders to a patient in cardiac arrest:
- Within 500 metres in built-up areas (eg a metropolitan area, regional city or township)
- Within ten (10) kilometres in a rural area
If you log out of the app, you won’t receive alerts until you login again. Also, if you close the app (i.e. don’t leave it running in the background), or miss a response happening nearby.
Each ambulance service can select the groups they alert to cases. GoodSAM responders may be alerted to a nearby cardiac arrest when travelling interstate or overseas if the app is used in that region and you have an active data connection.
If you are one of the three closest Responders to the patient, your phone will sound a siren notification. If your phone is on silent or ‘do not disturb’ mode is active, you may not receive an audible alert.
The alert settings can be changed by navigating to the Me/More icon within the GoodSAM Responder app. You can change these settings as often as you need to suit your personal preferences.
No, accepting a GoodSAM alert is voluntary, and you should use your best judgement based on your circumstances at the time. If you are unavailable, impaired by alcohol or medication, or suffering from any health conditions, you should reject the alert.
If you reject, GoodSAM will seek to notify the next closest GoodSAM Responder.
Once you accept a GoodSAM alert you will receive basic case information on the Chat/Comms screen.
The Chat/Comms function also allows you to see whether other GoodSAM Responders have accepted the alert and communicate with them if required.
The Map screen will display your location, the patient’s location and the locations of nearby AEDs that are available at the time. If an AED is available, you should collect this on the way to the patient’s location.
Clicking on the AED icon will display more details, including its exact location. If an AED is not available, or it’s inaccessible, go directly to the patient’s location to provide CPR if needed.
The Me/More screen allows you to find your fastest route to the patient, let others know you are at the scene and whether you have a defibrillator with you. You can also advise from this screen if you’re no longer able to respond (drop the call), and use the metronome for guidance on your CPR rate.
The green icons show GoodSAM Responders from the same organisation as you. Red Responders are GoodSAM Responders from another organisation.
A red AED icon indicates that the defibrillator has been verified by the owner in AV’s AED registry. Orange AEDs have been crowdsourced by GoodSAM users through the app and are yet to be verified in the registry.
Avoid driving wherever possible. In metropolitan areas, you should be close enough to get to the patient by foot. If you are required to drive to the patient, you must obey all road rules including driving to speed limits. Please refer to the Code of Conduct for further information.
At the scene
Your basic life-support skills are the most valuable thing you can bring!
If an AED is available nearby, this should be collected and taken to the patient. If you have a first aid kit, this can also be taken to the patient.
The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is recommended with any patient contact so AV recommends that any first aid kit or AED include basic PPE including disposable gloves and face
If these items are not available, the most important thing you can do is go directly to the patient and provide CPR if needed.
Triple Zero (000) callers, bystanders and family members may not have heard of the GoodSAM program and may initially be surprised to find someone out of uniform arriving to help. This is a common situation where effective communication can help ensure the best care is given to the patient.
When arriving at a scene, we recommend introducing yourself as a GoodSAM Responder, explaining that AV has notified you that someone needs help, and to ask if you can assist.
Reassurance that an ambulance is on the way will also be beneficial.
For example, this could be done as follows:
“My name’s John and I’m a first-aider. Ambulance have told me that someone here needed immediate help. Can I help you while they’re on the way?”
If you are unable to gain cooperation from bystanders or family members, use your judgement at the time, and do not put yourself at risk by asserting yourself into the situation.
When AV paramedics or emergency services arrive, you must hand-over care of the patient to them.
Let paramedics know how you found the patient (for example, lying on the floor, not breathing) and what you have done to care for them. You may be asked to continue to assist with resuscitation efforts until further crews arrive.
Your safety is the first priority. Always consider your own wellbeing first and do not enter an address if you feel uncomfortable or there are obvious hazards.
You situations that evolve. If you don’t feel safe approaching a scene and the patient, you are not obliged to provide assistance. The GoodSAM app provides the capacity for Responders to reject or drop the call for any alert at any time.
You should always be alert to scene safety and situations that evolve. If at any time you feel unsafe, you should immediately withdraw from the scene (leaving equipment behind if needed) and await the arrival of emergency services. If you feel the police are required, call Triple Zero (000) to request their attendance.
All GoodSAM alerts are monitored by Ambulance Victoria’s 24-hour Communications Centre and will always be backed by a high level emergency response.
Yes. AV has Personal Accident and Injury insurance and Medical Indemnity insurance for GoodSAM Responders. Further details are available from AV – see the contact information at the end of this page.
In the unlikely event you are injured, let AV know so you can be provided with the appropriate care and support. You can advise AV in the post-event report, or contact the GoodSAM team via the details at the end of this page.
After every response, you will receive a follow-up telephone call from an AV paramedic, which is a further opportunity to discuss injuries or near-misses.
If required, attending paramedics will ensure you receive appropriate medical attention at the scene.
After the event
In the days after responding to a GoodSAM alert, an AV paramedic will call you to discuss your experience and answer questions you may have. These experienced paramedics are also able to discuss your reactions to the event and assist with any support or services to look after your mental health and wellbeing.
If you’d like to find out more about GoodSAM or share information about GoodSAM with your friends and family, please visit: ambulance.vic.gov.au/goodsam
If you have a question that’s not answered here, or you need more information or support please use the following email addresses:
For support to register with GoodSAM or to troubleshoot issues with the GoodSAM app please contact: email@example.com
For general enquiries or feedback on the GoodSAM program in Victoria please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also wish to download a PDF version of the FAQs here.
If you’d like to find out more about GoodSAM or share information about GoodSAM with your friends and family, please visit ambulance.vic.gov.au/goodsam
If you have a question that’s not answered here, or you need more information or support, please use the following email addresses:
For registration support or assistance to use the GoodSAM app please email: email@example.com
For general enquiries or feedback on the GoodSAM project in Victoria, or to provide feedback please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can check the progress of your registration at any time by logging into the portal at: www.goodsamapp.org