Sudden Cardiac Arrest in the Residential Setting: The Valuation of Off-Duty Professional Firefighters on Crowdsourced Emergency Response in Metropolitan Cities

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The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of off-duty professional firefighters when asked to render emergency care outside of the traditional work setting through crowdsourced technologies. The research focused specifically on the provision of lifesaving interventions to individuals experiencing sudden cardiac arrest in residential settings in metropolitan cities because the availability of public safety resources is typically fixed, and off-duty professional responders may be a viable solution to increase survival rates. The theoretical framework of the study was grounded in the foundational concepts of Pareto optimal/efficient allocation. The research aimed to identify whether leveraging off-duty trained responders could potentially address the issue of resource allocation in public safety. The research followed a qualitative case study methodology, focusing on sudden cardiac death in out-of-hospital settings. Semistructured virtual interviews were conducted with off-duty professional firefighters to understand their perceptions of the topic. The emergent themes provide insights into individual responses to sudden cardiac arrest, which enabled the identification of opportunities to help solve the problem. Two perspectives emerged from the research, namely an individual and an operational perspective. The individual perspective was refined into either a service focus or a safety focus, and the operational perspective was refined into a resource availability focus or a crowdsourced response technology focus. The predominant position was that off-duty professional firefighters are comfortable responding to sudden cardiac arrest in a residential setting in certain situations. However, the belief that they will universally respond to private settings when alerted is false. The study recommends that crowdsourced emergency response technologies continue to evolve to meet the needs of the end user. Overall, the findings suggest that technology-based, crowdsourced solutions can have an impact by saving lives. The research contributes to the understanding of off-duty responders’ perceptions and identifies potential opportunities for the development of crowdsourced emergency response technologies. This study provides a valuable contribution to the field of public safety resource allocation and emergency response planning.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Public Administration
Public Administration