fbpx skip to content

GoodSAM FAQs

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 appropriately qualified responders when someone nearby is in cardiac arrest, to allow them to provide CPR and defibrillation prior to emergency services arriving.

It takes a community to save a life – a person’s chance of survival reduces by up to 10% every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation. GoodSAM aims to provide rapid assistance to patients in those first critical minutes of cardiac arrest, while paramedics are on the way.

Ambulance Victoria (AV) introduced the GoodSAM app to Victoria in 2018 with health professionals and first-aid trained colleagues from partner organisations invited to join the community of GoodSAM Responders.

In 2019 AV has expanded the pool of Responders and now encourages first-aid trained adults in our community to download the app and join GoodSAM.

The app is integrated with the Triple Zero (000) call dispatch system, which allows AV to alert GoodSAM Responders via their smartphone and give them the opportunity to respond to nearby cases of suspected cardiac arrest.

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 the location of the patient and the known closest accessible AED. GoodSAM asks the Responder to attend to provide immediate CPR and defibrillation.

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 completely voluntary.

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.

GoodSAM Responders

Any first aid trained adult or health professional can become a GoodSAM Responder in Victoria.

First aid training is the successful completion and awarding of one of the below nationally recognised units of competency issued by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO):

  • HLTAID001 – Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
  • HLTAID002 – Provide Basic Emergency Life Support
  • HLTAID003 – Provide First Aid
  • HLTAID005 – Provide First Aid in Remote Situations
  • HLTAID006 – Provide Advanced First Aid
  • HLTAID007 – Provide Advanced Resuscitation
  • HLTAMB008 – Assess and Deliver Standard Clinical Care

Health professionals registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) are also eligible to register as GoodSAM Responders.

Importantly, you must only provide care to a patient within the scope of your assessed competency.

When you register with GoodSAM, the information you provide about yourself to AV is stored and accessed in accordance with AV’s Privacy Policy and GoodSAM’s Data Protection Policy.

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 delete the app from your phone and email info@goodsamapp.org to advise the GoodSAM team.

 

Registering with the app

By signing up you agree to the Terms & Conditions, including the GoodSAM Code of Conduct, which is available to view in the GoodSAM app.

To sign up on the app, complete the registration form. Here are some tips:

  • Please check (and double check!) that your email address is spelled correctly
  • Under Registration body, select GoodSAM
  • Upload requested information including qualifications and identification. Please ensure these are clear and easy to read.If registering as an AHPRA health professional please ensure your registration number is entered correctly.

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 approved, prompting you to login to the GoodSAM Responder app on your smartphone.

Take some time to explore the app, including the location of AEDs around you.

Downloading the GoodSAM app

 

The app is available now through the app store on your smartphone – search for GoodSAM Responder.

You only need to download the GoodSAM Responder app. AV does not use the GoodSAM Alerter app, which is 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).

As the GoodSAM Responder program expands, we receive a lot of registrations.. To ensure the qualifications and identity of our Responders we manually verify each one individually. You can check the progress of your registration at any time by logging into the portal at www.goodsamapp.org

If you receive an email from GoodSAM letting you know that your qualifications haven’t been verified please read the feedback outlining what information was unable to be processed and submit new information as soon as you can – you can often do this by email.

All first aid qualified adults and AHPRA registered health professionals in Victoria are qualified to apply. If your registration is rejected please carefully read the email explaining the reasons and resubmit information as soon as you can.

The most common reason for AHPRA professional to be rejected is an incorrect AHPRA registration number or an ID photo that is unclear. If you think that you have addressed these issues but the problem persists, please email info@goodsamapp.org

Remember to ensure you have downloaded the GoodSAM Responder app (not the Alerter app) as this can also prevent a successful registration.

 

GoodSAM needs to access and store your photo ID and any other documents to verify who you are. The app also accesses relevant files so it can recognise and remember your GoodSAM settings and preferences on your device.

The Code of Conduct outlines expected behaviours when responding to a GoodSAM alert in Victoria. When you sign up as a GoodSAM Responder, you agree to abide by this Code, which has ten key areas of personal responsibility:

  1. You are responsible for your health and safety.
  2. Keep your first aid training up to date.
  3. Travel to the scene on foot wherever possible
  4. Respond only if you are alert and prepared
  5. Provide patient care within your first aid skills.
  6. Handover patient care when emergency services arrive.
  7. Ensure you’re healthy and well enough to respond.
  8. Your participation is voluntary.
  9. Patient privacy and confidentiality is paramount.
  10. 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.

GoodSAM alerts

You will only be asked to attend a cardiac arrest when CPR and the use of a defibrillator 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, 74% of 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.

You will be alerted if you are one of the three closest GoodSAM Responders to a patient in cardiac arrest:

  • Within 400 metres in built-up areas (eg a metropolitan area, regional city or township)
  • Within five (5) 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 GoodSAM Responders to the patient, your phone will sound a siren notification. Note if your phone is on silent or ‘do not disturb’ mode is active, you may not receive an audible alert.

You can check and adjust these settings by navigating to the ‘Me’ icon on the home page of your Responder app.

No, accepting a GoodSAM alert is voluntary, and should be based on your circumstances at the time. If you are unavailable, impaired by alcohol or medication, or suffering from any health conditions, you should decline the alert.

If you decline or do not respond, GoodSAM will seek to notify the next closest trusted GoodSAM Responder.

Once you accept a GoodSAM alert you will receive basic case information on the Chat/Comms screen:

Event number eg E17122110235
Event type eg Cardiac or Respiratory Arrest, Ineffective Breathing
Event address eg 123 Smith St, Collingwood
Responder script eg Problem: COLLAPSED NOT BREATHING Number of patients: 1 Age: 77 Years Gender: Male Chief Complaint: Cardiac or Respiratory Arrest / Death 77-year-old, Male, Consciousness unknown, Breathing status unknown.

You can also see whether other GoodSAM Responders have accepted the alert and communicate with them in the GoodSAM app’s chat function.

The Map screen will display a map showing your location, the patient’s location and the locations of nearby, available Automated External Defibrillators (AED).

If an AED is available, you should collect this on the way to the patient’s location. Clicking on an AED 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 Responders icons are GoodSAM Responders from the same organization 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 AED’s have been crowd-sourced 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.

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 any first-aid kit or AED should include basic PPE including disposable gloves and barrier masks.

If these items are not available, the most important thing you can do is go directly to the patient and provide compression-only CPR if needed.

When arriving at a scene, we recommend introducing yourself as an off-duty medical professional or first-aider, explaining that ambulance have notified you that someone needed help and asking 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.

If you have gained the cooperation of bystanders or family members, assess the person who needs help.

Remain calm and deliver the care that you have learned from you first-aid or medical training. Remember, emergency services are on the way and if at any time you feel that your safety could be compromised, leave the premises.

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 AV paramedics or emergency services arrive, you must handover 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

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 should always be alert to scene safety and situations that evolve. If you don’t feel safe approaching a scene and the patient, you are not obliged to provide assistance. The app provides the capacity for the Responder to cancel or refuse a notification 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 bottom 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 document. 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: info@goodsamapp.org

For general enquiries or feedback on the GoodSAM program in Victoria please contact: goodsam@ambulance.vic.gov.au

You can check the progress of your registration at any time by logging into the portal at: www.goodsamapp.org

You may also wish to download a PDF version of the FAQs here.

More information

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: info@goodsamapp.org

For general enquiries or feedback on the GoodSAM project in Victoria, or to provide feedback please email: goodsam@ambulance.vic.gov.au

You can check the progress of your registration at any time by logging into the portal at: www.goodsamapp.org