How to register with the free GoodSAM app – a walk-through

Imagine the situation.  There is a sudden collapse in the coffee shop where you are enjoying a latte.  You are fairly are that the person has had a sudden cardiac arrest and call 000 or help….but the ambulance will take at least 8-10 minutes to arrive, even as a priority one (probably longer in rural areas). What to do?

If you are fortunate enough to live on Kangaroo Island, then you are part of Australia’s first ‘HeartSAFE’ community – the volunteer crew at HeartSAFEKI have now trained over 10% of the Island population in how to perform ‘hands only’ CPR and use a defibrillator.  We’ve also worked with local community groups, council and business to establish a network of ‘public access defibrillators’ across the Island.  Check out the map at

How do community responders get activated?

But there’s still the issue of how to ensure a community responder is notified.  If there is a witnessed collapse and a community responder is on scene, that’s great!  But supposing the collapse happened n the shop or office next door?  In fact the majority of sudden cardiac deaths happen at home!

Enter the GoodSAM app, a ‘social enterprise’ venture which started off in the UK.  The premise is simple – in a large capital city such as London, you are probably never more than a 00m away from an off-duty doctor, nurse or paramedic at any one time.  Why not use the power of a smartphone – a communication device AND a location device – to alert nearby volunteers to respond int eh case of a sudden cardiac death?

The GoodSAM paradigm has become wildly successful – many clinicians worldwide are now registered as ‘GoodSAM’ responders. In the UK there are regular reports of ‘saves’ using this technology to crowdsource responders to provide CPR and use a defibrillator in the few minutes until expert help arrives.

How about Australasia?

The good news is that Victoria, New Zealand, NSW and (hopefully soon) South Australia have committed to integrate GoodSAM into their Emergency Operations Centres.  Indeed Victoria and NZ are already ‘live’ as of 2018….

What does this mean?

It means that when you dial 000, an ambulance will be dispatched – and the nearest GoodSAM responder may also be activated if there is situational urgency (cardiac arrest).  These responders are all vetted to ensure they have training in CPR and use of a defibrillator and are required to register as a GoodSAM responder.  They are activated via smartphone (iOS, Android, Windows) or tablet, using the free ‘GoodSAM ‘responder’ app.

Moreover the lay public can also use the GoodSAM ‘alerter’ app to notify the ambulance service and to receive messages from GoodSAM responders.  The Alerter app also stores important medical information and contact details – a sort of personalised medical summary.

How do I get involved?

You can still help as a member of the lay public, even if not trained in CPR or use of a defibrillator.  Simply download the free GoodSAM ALERTER app (see and register as an ALERTER via the webpage.

NB If you are trained in CPR and use of a defibrillator (doctor, nurse, paramedic, SES, CFS, Coastguard, Ambulance, school teacher or work etc) then please SKIP THIS SECTION and register as a ‘responder’ (see section below)



Once you’ve registered, download the ALERTER app and then update your own details to carry an always available summary of any medical conditions, allergies or medications.


There are heaps of other features included – even use of the onboard camera as a means to detect pulse rate and the motion detector function of smartphone to detect respirations (just pace the phonon your chest and try it!).  A messaging service allows responders to see the electors medical history, emergency contact details and even text and voice messaging from scene to responders!



That’s great – but what if I am trained in CPR and use of a defibrillator?

If trained in CPR/AED, then it would be great to help ‘light up’ the map of Australia with GoodSAM responders, in anticipation of integration with EOC in your location.

For Kangaroo Islanders, there is even a dedicated GoodSAM “KI First Responder” group – I’d love to get SES, CFS, Ambulance, Coastguard, Hospital and other trained folk registered as responders so we can showcase this as an example of ‘community resilience’

Using the GoodSAM interface allows controllers to see where responders are in ‘real time’ using triangulation, to send group or individual messages, to send voice messages and even to videolink to the scene.

Obviously this is not aimed to replace existing emergency responses bt offers an extra level of flexibility, including being aware at any one time of WHERE responders are and perhaps using them more sensibly if there is a delay in formal emergency response.

To register as a GoodSAM responder, follow the guide below….

Go to the website and register as a RESPONDER

Then fill in your details – will need mobile number (for the device you will be carrying i.e. smartphone or tablet), email address, create a password (write it somewhere safe) and some form of certification that are bona fide CPR/AED trained – for exisiting AHPRA and Emergency Service personnel, this should be easy.  If lay responder and trained, then I will accept your photo and will call you to confirm credentials! But you MUST upload some form of file (certificate, work ID, a photo etc)

Make sure select the ‘KI First Responder’ group.  If you are registering elsewhere in Australia, select the appropriate group or just ‘GoodSAM’

Once you’ve done all that, download the GoodSAM responder app and hopefully your application will be approved within 48 hrs

Read the code of conduct, set up your settings so we can see you on the map (useful!) and also consider reducing location accuracy to promote battery life – GoodSAM consumes VERY LITTLE power.

Selecting ‘reveal first name’ or ‘reveal last name’ can help us identify individuals on the Island if there is a major incident and perhaps alert you even though not on call….

So that’s about it.


Not trained in CPR or use of a defibrillator? Then download the ALERTER app.  This will call 000, carry important medical information (if you wish) and may allow your smartphone to measure breathing and pulse.  More importantly, once integrated with A,bualcne EOC ou will be able to receive messages and the nearest responder will be activated.

Trained in CPR and use of a defibrillator?  Then download the RESPONDER app, register and await authentication – then keep the app running in background on your smartphone.


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