Ticino Soccorso 144 and the cantonal "First responder" network
At present, there are 950 defibrillators within the Ticino territory. Of those, over 150 are accessible to the general public. Each of them is in compliance with the directives issued by the Cantonal Doctor and registered within a database managed by Ticino Soccorso 144, which can mobilize the local available resources whilst awaiting the arrival of professional emergency medical technicians.
The “First Responder” (FR) network
The First Responder network is an innovative model created by the Ticino Cuore Foundation and the FCTSA within the “Cantonal primary intervention plan in case of Sudden Cardiac Arrests and precocious resuscitation” framework. The FR network is composed by people and/or institutions (e.g. police forces, fire departments, border patrols, non-professional citizens, etc.), who, on a voluntary basis, made themselves available so as to be alerted by the Ticino Soccorso 144 head office in the case of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
The model’s structuring principles are based on three main elements:
- chance: that is to say the fact to be close to the place where the event occurred “by chance”;
- voluntariness: based on the FR’s own decision to follow-up the alert;
- spontaneous help.
When a Sudden Cardiac Arrest occurs, Ticino Soccorso activates its FR network by indicating the place where it has occurred and the estimated time for the ambulance to reach that specific place. If a First Responder can join the patient in a shorter time, he/she answers the call by taking action immediately.
The following requirements need to be complied with in order to become a member of the First Responder network:
▪ minimum 18 years of age or older
▪ possessing a valid Certification to practice resuscitation and defibrillation, recognized by the main international companies (ERC/AHA) and/or the national institution in charge (for Switzerland: SRC).
▪ Accepting the provisions set forth under the First Responder Guidelines