In the event of a medical emergency, it can help to understand who’s who at the scene and what their roles are. This page provides an overview of the various healthcare professionals and volunteers who may be present when someone experiences a cardiac arrest, from paramedics and senior paramedics to community first responders, GoodSam responders, and bystanders. It also explains the role of Layresponders, HART, and HEMS teams and how they contribute to the emergency response system. Understanding the responsibilities of each individual can help us appreciate the collective effort needed to provide immediate care and support to someone experiencing a medical emergency.
A paramedic is a trained medical professional who is often the first to arrive at the scene of an emergency, such as someone experiencing a cardiac arrest. Their primary role is to assess the patient’s condition and provide appropriate medical care, which may include administering medication or performing life-saving procedures such as CPR. In the case of a cardiac arrest, a paramedic’s primary goal is to restore the patient’s heartbeat and breathing as quickly as possible, as this can significantly increase their chances of survival. They may also need to transport the patient to the hospital for further treatment and monitoring. Overall, a paramedic plays a crucial role in providing immediate care and support to individuals experiencing a medical emergency.
A senior paramedic is a healthcare professional with advanced training and emergency medical care experience. If someone has had a cardiac arrest, a senior paramedic would be one of the first responders to arrive on the scene. Their role is to assess the patient’s condition, provide initial treatment, and coordinate with other healthcare team members to transport the patient to the hospital for further care. In the case of a cardiac arrest, the senior paramedic would work quickly to perform life-saving interventions such as administering CPR and defibrillation and may also provide medication and oxygen therapy as needed. Senior paramedics play a critical role in the early stages of care for a patient experiencing a cardiac arrest. Their expertise and quick action can help improve the patient’s chances of survival.
Emergency Medical Technician
An Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) is a type of ambulance staff who provides medical care and transportation for patients in emergency situations. EMTs in the UK are trained to provide basic life support, such as administering oxygen, bandaging wounds, and performing CPR. They also have the skills to manage medical emergencies like cardiac arrests, seizures, and allergic reactions. EMTs work as part of a team alongside paramedics and other healthcare professionals to provide the best possible care for patients in an emergency situation.
Community First Responder
A Community First Responder (CFR) is a trained volunteer who is part of the emergency medical services (EMS) team in their local community. When someone experiences a cardiac arrest, a CFR can be dispatched to the scene alongside an ambulance to provide immediate care until more advanced medical help arrives. CFRs are trained to perform basic life support skills such as CPR, defibrillation, and airway management, which can significantly increase the chances of survival for someone who has had a cardiac arrest. CFRs are essential to the emergency response system and can make a real difference in saving lives in their local community.
A GoodSam responder is a person who has received specialized training in providing immediate assistance to someone who has experienced a cardiac arrest. When a cardiac arrest occurs, every minute counts. The GoodSam responder’s role is to assess the situation quickly, initiate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and, if necessary, use an automated external defibrillator (AED) to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm. The responder is part of a network of volunteers alerted through a mobile app when someone nearby has experienced a cardiac arrest. They will typically arrive on the scene before the emergency services. By providing early intervention, the GoodSam responder can significantly increase the chances of the person surviving and minimize any potential long-term damage.
A bystander is someone present at the scene of an event, such as a cardiac arrest, but is not directly involved or employed in a specific role to manage the situation. In the context of someone who has had a cardiac arrest, a bystander could be anyone who witnessed the event and is nearby, such as a passerby or a family member. Bystanders play an essential role in the early response to a cardiac arrest as they can provide crucial first aid, such as starting CPR or calling emergency services. Timely action by bystanders can significantly improve the chances of survival and reduce the risk of long-term complications for the person who has had a cardiac arrest.
A Layresponder is a person who is usually present at the scene of an emergency and is able to offer immediate assistance to someone who has had a cardiac arrest. They may or may not have received any specific training on how to respond to such a situation. Their role is to provide basic first aid and support until more specialised medical help arrives. This can include performing chest compressions, and the quick actions of a layresponder can often make a significant difference in the outcome of someone who has had a cardiac arrest.
HART stands for Hazardous Area Response Team, a specialized emergency response team in the UK trained to deal with incidents in hazardous environments. In the context of someone who has had a cardiac arrest, HART may be called upon if the incident has occurred in a hazardous location, such as a construction site or industrial facility. The HART team is equipped with advanced medical equipment and trained to respond quickly and efficiently to provide advanced medical care to the patient, including administering life-saving treatments such as defibrillation. Their main objective is to ensure the safety and well-being of the patient while working in a challenging and potentially dangerous environment.
HEMS stands for Helicopter Emergency Medical Service, a specialized medical service that responds rapidly to emergencies, including cardiac arrest. The HEMS team typically consists of highly trained medical professionals, including doctors, paramedics, and nurses, who are specially equipped to provide advanced medical care on the scene of an emergency. In the case of someone who has had a cardiac arrest, the HEMS team will work quickly to assess the patient’s condition, provide emergency medical treatment such as advanced airway management, defibrillation, and administration of life-saving medications, and transport the patient to a hospital for further care. The goal of the HEMS team is to provide the highest level of care possible to ensure the best possible outcome for the patient.
Irrespective of the outcome, it can be helpful to chat and even meet the others at the scene, and we know organising this isn’t always easy. However, we have a Contact Your Saviours page, which, when completed, will send an email to your selected ambulance trust to enable you to get further information about the event and potentially meet those present.