No fear: Willingness of smartphone activated first responders to assist with cardiac arrest during the COVID-19 pandemic

Jocasta Ball, Emily Mahony, Michael Ray, Ziad Nehme, Dion Stub, Karen Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Aim: To understand the fear and willingness to respond of smartphone activated first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We invited smartphone activated first responders registered with the GoodSAM application in Victoria, Australia to take part in an online survey in November 2020. We assessed willingness to respond to an alert and provide CPR during the pandemic and administered the Fear of COVID-19 Scale questionnaire. Regression analysis was conducted to investigate associations between occupation, clinical training, and years of clinical experience with willingness to respond and fear of COVID-19. Results: The survey response rate was 5.1%. Responders (n = 348) had a median age (interquartile range) of 46 years (33–55). Most (67%) were aged 30–59 years and 43% were female. Responders spanned several occupations including paramedics (12.6%), registered nurses (14.7%), and non-clinical individuals (21.8%). Most (92%) reported they would feel comfortable responding to a GoodSAM alert during the pandemic. Almost all (>95%) reported they would provide CPR. About 20% reported being afraid of COVID-19 but only 3.2% reported they had a high-level of fear of COVID-19. The odds of paramedics being willing to respond to an alert was reduced by 73% during the pandemic (OR 0.27, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.69). No other associations were found with willingness or fear of COVID-19. Conclusion: Although willingness was high and fear of COVID-19 was low, some smartphone activated first responders were less willing to respond to an alert during the pandemic. These findings may inform future pandemic planning and decision-making around pausing first-responder programs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100341
Number of pages6
JournalResuscitation Plus
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • COVID-19
  • CPR
  • GoodSAM
  • OHCA
  • Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest
  • Smartphone activated first responders

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