The Cardiac Arrest Alerting Scheme has been launched by the police in partnership with the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) and GoodSAM to help people experiencing cardiac arrest.
The scheme, which went live at the end of May, allows frontline officers, PCSOs, Specials and first aid trained staff to voluntarily attend incidents nearby where somebody is in suspected cardiac arrest so that they can perform early, potentially lifesaving CPR until an ambulance gets to them.
The GoodSAM app alerts officers which then makes a loud wailing sound when they are within 800 metres of a suspected cardiac arrest patient who has been reported to the ambulance service via 999.
The scheme was piloted in Cambridgeshire and went live in Bedfordshire in April.
Chief Superintendent Dean Patient said that the force was pleased to be involved in this initiative.
Chief Superintendent Patient said: “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.”
He added: “For each minute that passes where CPR is not being given to someone suffering cardiac arrest, chances of survival drop by ten per cent 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.”
In Watford, an off-duty officer responded to a cardiac alert and found a female who had collapsed. The officer began CPR and when paramedics arrived the patient had regained a pulse before being taken to a hospital for further treatment.
Nicholas Jones, IM&T Service Delivery Manager (Clinical Applications) with EEAST, said: “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.”