This past year, installers of Dutch cable company Ziggo who drive around with Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) in their vans and know how to use them have been able to respond to 50 emergency calls while working. With some 75 installers able to assist the emergency services, they assisted 30 times, either reanimating or keeping people away from the victims so that paramedics can do their job.
In practice, paramedics are not always able to get to people in the first few moments which is crucial, while an ambulance ride is at least 10 minutes. On occasion, a cable installer can actually help, as they can be reached by WhatsApp.
Despite me not being a fan of the cable company, I have to say this is a nice initiative that very much deserves to be mentioned. Since Wi-Fi is seen more and more as a lifeline, Ziggo was smart to combine Wi-Fi with having AEDs at the ready and personnel trained to use them.
According to the Dutch heart foundation Hartstichting, about 17,000 people have heart attacks outside hospitals, the amount of citizens who can help in such situations rose by a third to 225,000, and the amount of available AEDs has increased by more than 45% to almost 18,000. Trained citizens arrive 2.5 minutes earlier to scenes than emergency services and can start reanimation right away, saving lives.