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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.

Responding safely during a COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 GoodSAM Responders FAQs

About the GoodSAM app

GoodSAM is a free, global smartphone app that alerts GoodSAM 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, initially piloted by health professionals and first-aid trained colleagues from partner organisations.

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 adult (over the age of 18) that is familiar with CPR and the use of an AED, first-aid trained, or a registered health professional can become a GoodSAM Responder in Victoria.

The first few minutes of a cardiac arrest are crucial to survival. We’re committed to expanding our GoodSAM coverage through enabling as many willing and suitable Victorians as possible to support their community. The majority of our GoodSAM Responders will be trained, however for some their training might have lapsed or they might not have had any yet. Our Triple Zero (000) call takers will remain on the phone to provide instructions until paramedics arrive.

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.

Below is a list of nationally recognised training units provided by Registered Training Organisations that we recommend as suitable training:

  • 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

 

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.

 

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 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).

Before you can sign in, you need to register with GoodSAM. This process is quick and easy, and below we’ve included some helpful tips:

  • Please check (and double check!) that your email address is spelt correctly.
  • Select ‘Australia: Public’ as your Registration Body.
  • Upload photo identification (please use your driver’s license or another form of approved photo ID).
  • 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 identity approved, prompting you to log-in to the GoodSAM Responder app on your smartphone.

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.

 

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:

  1. You are responsible for your health and safety
  2. You are responsible for your own knowledge and skills
  3. You should travel to the scene on foot wherever possible. Normal road rules still apply if you do drive
  4. Respond only if you are alert and prepared
  5. Provide patient care within your skill set
  6. Handover patient care when emergency services arrive
  7. Ensure you’re healthy and unimpaired 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.

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 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 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.

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.

‘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.

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. 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 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.

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

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

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 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 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