Heartsafe NWE

Making North-West Europe Heart Safe

Project Summary

Heartsafe NWE is a pioneering project aimed at addressing the pressing issue of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) across North-West Europe.

SCA is the 3rd leading cause of death in Europe, with survival rates for Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) varying significantly across regions. While the Netherlands boasts a 45% survival rate, other countries like Germany, Belgium, and Ireland lag behind, respectively with a survival rate of 31%, 26% and 25%. To bridge this gap, Heartsafe NWE is on a mission to ensure equal survival chances for all by implementing community-based first responder networks.

Our approach is threefold, consisting of: strategically placing 24/7 available Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), training local citizens in CPR, and employing a cloud-based alerting system to dispatch citizen responders swiftly, eventually creating a Heartsafe ecosystem. We will do so by building and piloting a community-based OHCA first responder system in Galway, Leuven, and the Health Region Cologne-Bonn, and by delivering three tailor-made results-based scale-up strategies to make the local solutions sustainable. By adopting the proven Dutch best practice, we aim to increase OHCA survival rates by 10% in our pilot regions.

Heartsafe NWE is grounded in local community engagement. By empowering local authorities with the tools and knowledge to operate life-saving infrastructure, we aim to ensure that all local citizens have timely access to emergency assistance.

Follow us on our mission to save lives and create a safer, more resilient NWE region.

Visit the Heartsafe NWE website for more information.

The Heartsafe NWE project aims to save lives by establishing a network of citizen responders and strategically placed AEDs across North-West Europe, thereby improving emergency response times and enhancing community resilience against sudden cardiac arrest.

Every day, people of all ages can unexpectedly suffer a Sudden Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest (SCA /OHCA). Many lives could be saved (in good health) if they would be resuscitated within 6 minutes. However, professional emergency services are quite often too late for that. So the challenge is: How can we save people on time from OHCA and give them a ‘second life’?


To create safer and more resilient communities where every individual has access to immediate assistance in the event of sudden cardiac arrest, ultimately reducing mortality rates and improving overall public health outcomes in the North-West Europe region. 

Through collaboration, innovation, and community engagement, we strive to make a tangible difference in saving lives and promoting well-being.


The Heartsafe NWE project aims to save lives by establishing a network of citizen responders and strategically placed AEDs across North-West Europe, thereby improving emergency response times and enhancing community resilience against sudden cardiac arrest.

The Heartsafe NWE project is a pioneering initiative aimed at improving survival rates associated with sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in the North-West Europe (NWE) region. Through strategic collaboration and innovative approaches, our project seeks to achieve the following goals and objectives:

  1. Enhance Emergency Response: Implement a community-based first responder system utilizing trained citizen responders and strategically placed Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to reduce response times and improve outcomes for SCA patients.

  2. Increase Awareness and Training: Promote awareness of SCA and CPR training initiatives among the general public, healthcare professionals, and emergency response organizations to empower individuals to respond effectively in emergency situations.

  3. Facilitate Knowledge Exchange: Foster collaboration and knowledge exchange between regions involved in the project to share best practices, lessons learned, and innovative approaches for enhancing community safety and resilience.

  4. Evaluate and Scale Up: Conduct rigorous evaluation of project outcomes and develop evidence-based recommendations for scaling up successful interventions to other regions within NWE and beyond.

The Heartsafe NWE project is a collaborative initiative led by a consortium of partners dedicated to improving emergency response capabilities and community safety across European regions. Our consortium comprises organizations with expertise in healthcare, emergency response, technology, and community engagement. Together, we aim to deploy citizen responder systems and enhance access to Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to reduce mortality rates associated with sudden cardiac arrest.

Our partners include:

  • Dutch Heart Foundation (DHF): Lead partner and coordinator of the project, DHF brings extensive experience and networks in building community-based OHCA first responder systems.
  • Stan Global: Citizen responder technology provider and work package leader, Stan Global specializes in designing and managing citizen responder alerting systems.
  • Croi Heart & Stroke Charity: Implementing partner in Galway, Ireland, Croi Heart & Stroke Charity plays a vital role in engaging local communities and promoting awareness of cardiovascular health.
  • KU Leuven: Implementing partner in Leuven, Belgium, KU Leuven is a leading research institution contributing expertise in health economics and evaluation.
  • Health Region Cologne-Bonn: Implementing partner in Health Region Cologne-Bonn / Neuwied, Germany, this organization works closely with local authorities to implement and sustain community-based health solutions.
  • University of Bielefeld: Associated partner supporting health economics modeling and evaluation efforts.
  • P​hilips: Associated partner providing AEDs and product development expertise to ensure comprehensive coverage in pilot sites.

The Heartsafe NWE project encompasses a diverse range of regions within North-West Europe, including urban, suburban, and rural areas. Our project focuses on three pilot regions: Galway (Ireland), Leuven (Belgium), and Health Region Cologne-Bonn / Neuwied (Germany). These pilot sites have been selected based on their population density, geographic diversity, and existing infrastructure to maximize the impact of the project.

Through targeted interventions and collaborative efforts, the Heartsafe NWE project aims to improve emergency response capabilities and save lives across the North-West Europe region.

Learn more about each project here.

In collaboration with Croi Heart & Stroke Charity, the Galway pilot project focuses on leveraging local expertise and community engagement to enhance emergency response against sudden cardiac arrest. Croi Heart & Stroke Charity brings years of experience in cardiovascular health advocacy, ensuring that our efforts are grounded in local knowledge and tailored to the needs of the Galway community.

We are working on a regional website for Galway. A link to this website will follow shortly. 
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About Us

The Heartsafe NWE team aims to improve the survival rate for out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest in our pilot regions Galway, Leuven and Health Region Cologne-Bonn.

We will do so through collaboration with local authorities to build and pilot a first responder system, and deliver tailor-made strategies that can be scaled up to make the local solutions sustainable.

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