Rachel Love and Andrew Larby

12 August 2016

Smartphone app alert helps volunteer first aiders save a life

Two St John Ambulance volunteers helped save the life of a martial arts enthusiast, who suffered a cardiac arrest, after they were alerted to the emergency by a revolutionary new ‘Good Samaritan’ app.

Rachel Love and Andrew Larby were running a training session for community first responders (CFRs) at Bromley ambulance station, when they were alerted to the cardiac arrest at a nearby church hall via GoodSAM* – an app which uses GPS technology to alert first responders to nearby medical emergencies.

The pair rushed to the scene to find a 53-year-old man being given cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by another member of the taekwondo club. They used the automated external defibrillator (AED), which they had with them because of the training session, to deliver an electric shock to the man’s heart. They then administered five more rounds of CPR which revived the casualty just as London Ambulance Service paramedics arrived at the scene.

The casualty was taken to hospital where he made a good recovery after undergoing angioplasty. He was fit enough to return to work in London last week.

Dr Mark Wilson, Medical Director of the GoodSAM app said: ‘This is a fantastic example of how GoodSAM technology can help save lives. There are first aid trained people, like Rachel and Andy, who want to help save lives and they are all around us but might never know that someone is dying right next door.

‘The app simply connects these good Samaritans with members of the public in their minute of need. If more people, both medically trained and not, downloaded GoodSAM we could have more outcomes like this.’

Community First Responders are local volunteers trained to respond to serious medical emergencies in their neighbourhood. The London Ambulance Service control room passes on details of 999 calls in the responder’s immediate vicinity and the CFR, who is often the first on the scene, provides first aid and care until the ambulance arrives. No previous experience is needed as full training is given. For more information about becoming a volunteer visit our volunteer page and search vacancies.

Anyone can download the GoodSAM App for free. If you're a medically trained professionals download the Responder version on the App Store or Play Store. If you're a member of the public download the Alerter version on the App Store or Play Store.