April 23, 2014 | by

Cellphone app brings quick aid to cardiac victims in need of CPR

Orange County RegisterLocal fire departments have introduced a cellphone app that links citizens who know CPR with victims experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, a tool authorities hope will bring quicker aid to victims when time is short.

The Metro Cities Fire Authority on Wednesday announced the local trial launch of PulsePoint, a “potentially lifesaving” mobile smartphone application that alerts users when someone nearby is in need of CPR and gives them directions to that person.

The system, which will be the first of its kind in Orange County, will be available for users of both Apple and Android smartphones in Anaheim, Brea, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Orange.

Authorities say PulsePoint is tied in to a computer system used by MetroNet, the fire dispatch service used by the cities’ fire departments.

When paramedics are dispatched, PulsePoint notifies trained CPR users who have signed up for the app and who are within a quarter-mile of the person in need of emergency intervention.

The app then sends the user a map to the location of the person in need of CPR, the location of the nearest automated external defibrillator and a link to CPR instructions.

“Every second counts, and this goes hand-in-hand with our effort to save as many lives as possible,” Garden Grove Fire Chief David Barlag said in a written statement.

According to the American Heart Association, effective CPR by a bystander during a sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple someone’s chances of surviving.

“Your lifesaver could be in the next aisle of a retail store or perhaps the same restaurant,” Anaheim Fire Chief Randy Bruegman said in a statement. “When alerted through PulsePoint, citizen CPR can be administered almost immediately.”

View the full story by Sean Emery at the Orange County Register.