DARE (Dispatcher-Assisted first REsponder) aims to help bystanders gain the knowledge and confidence to save a heart, save a life. Even in our urban community, waiting for the fastest ambulance to initiate resuscitation results in delayed treatment to cardiac arrest victims which translates into increased mortality. Do not delay resuscitation. The best person to initiate treatment is you, the bystander. Therefore do not be afraid to be a first responder. Call 995 and stay on the line; the medical dispatcher will teach you how to give chest compressions and use an AED. Be brave and dare to save a heart.

Stay on the line
Many bystanders think that when they call 995 they are ordering an ambulance as if they’re ordering a cab and hang up right after. What they don’t realise is that they should stay on the line because the 995-dispatcher will help them initiate resuscitation. Every 1 min delay in restarting the heart results in 10% mortality so it’s important to start chest compressions and use an AED immediately, instead of doing nothing until ambulance arrives.

Push hard and fast
When you call 995 and stay on the line, the 995-dispatcher will ask if you know full CPR. If you do not, you must still start chest compressions and the dispatcher will assist you over the phone on the proper techniques. Push 4-6 cm deep, 100-120 times a minute. Let the chest recoil to its original height in between compressions so the heart can fill up properly.

AEDs are widely available. Do not be afraid to use an AED. Stay on the line with the 995-dispatcher who will continue to guide you to restart the victim’s heart. Additionally, there are clear pictures on the AED pads to tell you where to place them on the chest and a voice prompt that tells you what do after you hit the green ‘on’ button. You will be told either to continue chest compressions or press the orange ‘shock’ button. You may be asked by the 995-dispatcher to continue chest compressions subsequently, until the ambulance arrives.

For more information, email [email protected] or call 6354 9379/73/54.