Global positioning system alerted volunteer first responders arrive before emergency medical services in more than four out of five emergency calls.Resuscitation 2020R
To evaluate response rates for volunteer first responders (VFRs) activated by use of a smartphone GPS-tracking system and to compare response times of VFRs with those of emergency medical services (EMS). Furthermore, to evaluate 30-day-survival after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) on a rural island.
Since 2012 a GPS-tracking system has been used on a rural island to activate VFRs during all emergency calls requesting an EMS. When activated, three VFRs were recruited and given distinct roles, including collection of the nearest automatic external defibrillator (AED). We retrospectively investigated EMS response data from April 2012 to December 2017. These were matched with VFR response times from the GPS-tracking system. The 30-day survival in OHCA patients was also assessed.
In 2266 of 2662 emergency calls (85%) at least one VFR arrived to the site before EMS. Median response times for VFRs (n = 2662) was 4:46 min:sec (IQR 3:16-6:52) compared with 10:13 min:sec (6:14-13:41) for EMS (p < 0.0001). A total of 17 OHCAs took place in public locations and 65 in residential areas. Thirty-day survival in these were 24% and 15%, respectively.
Use of a smartphone GPS-tracking system to dispatch VFRs ensures that in more than four of five cases, a VFR arrives to the site before EMS. Response times for VFRs were also found to be lower than EMS response times. Finally, the 30-day survival of OHCA patients in a rural area, based on these results, surpass our expectations.