Citizen Dispatching?

iPhone Dispatching, Wave of the Future?

I read an article on EMS World about a California fire department that seeks to use an iPhone app to dispatch citizens that are trained in CPR, to the scene of cardiac arrests that happen near them. Good idea?

Maybe.

I like the concept, but it seems more like you run the risk of flooding the scene with bystanders, or Lucy Lookie-Loo’s that want to watch the fire department in action. It could also create a new class of ambulance chasing lawyer, using his iPhone to alert him to cardiac arrests close to him so he could go and observe, take notes, then “suggest” that maybe the fire department may have bungled the call.

But enough of me being a Debbie Downer.

It could very well create a new link the Chain of Survival, that creates an immediate access to early CPR and defibrillation by sending people that are trained in CPR to the scene if an app user happens to be nearby.

I would be very cautious about the use of this useful but potentially harmful app, although it could have a use in other realms. Say they wanted to use it to alert CERT teams or other individuals where to report for emergencies or call ins for response teams. Could also be handy for volunteer EMT’s and firefighters, or fire buffs getting pager or text alerts.

There is a lot of potential for such a system, just in a less… complicated way.

This article was written by rstine

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  • Hmm, not quite sold on the idea…but an idea nonetheless, and looking forward to see the results.
    Agree with your comments though.

  • Hmm, not quite sold on the idea…but an idea nonetheless, and looking forward to see the results.
    Agree with your comments though.

  • I agree with you on that. It’s a neat idea, but it poses risks. I personally don’t think I would appreciate random people showing up to my house in the event that a family member went into cardiac arrest. But then again, I’m a paramedic and I wouldn’t need the help of a bystander.

    I also think this poses some legal risks when it comes to patient privacy. Perhaps a less-risky system, but more useful system would be to notify off-duty fire/ems/law enforcement personnel of a cardiac arrest near them. That way, you at least have professionals showing up. Obviously this would be on a voluntary basis and getting off-duty folks to drop what their doing to pump on someones chest would be another story.

  • I agree with you on that. It’s a neat idea, but it poses risks. I personally don’t think I would appreciate random people showing up to my house in the event that a family member went into cardiac arrest. But then again, I’m a paramedic and I wouldn’t need the help of a bystander.

    I also think this poses some legal risks when it comes to patient privacy. Perhaps a less-risky system, but more useful system would be to notify off-duty fire/ems/law enforcement personnel of a cardiac arrest near them. That way, you at least have professionals showing up. Obviously this would be on a voluntary basis and getting off-duty folks to drop what their doing to pump on someones chest would be another story.