LAFD and LAUSD

March 4, 2015 | by

Los Angeles Fire Department Partners with PulsePoint Foundation

Brings Lifesaving Technology to Angelenos via 9-1-1 Integrated Smartphone App

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) has joined with the PulsePoint Foundation and The Wireless Foundation to bring life-saving technology to Angelenos via PulsePoint, a mobile app designed to increase citizen awareness of cardiac events beyond a traditional “witnessed” area and engage them in potentially life-saving CPR.

The partnership was formally launched Wednesday, March 4th at an event at Woodrow Wilson High School in El Sereno where 120 students became CPR trained. Fire Chief Ralph M. Terrazas was joined by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, LAUSD ESC-East Superintendent Roberto Martinez, PulsePoint Foundation President Richard Price and The Wireless Foundation Executive Director Athena Polydorou to discuss the LAFD’s rollout of the free PulsePoint app.

“This app connects trained lifesavers who may already be on scene with people who need immediate help, when seconds count the most,” Mayor Garcetti said. “My back to basics agenda is focused on implementing technologies that can make a difference in ways that are most important to our residents, and there is no greater priority than emergency response. I want to see this app activate an army of civilian first responders across Los Angeles,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti.

“Our new partnership with PulsePoint allows the LAFD to help save lives with our smartphones, which is technology that most of us already have in hand,” said Fire Chief Ralph M. Terrazas. “I am excited that Angelenos have another crucial tool at their fingertips that can help them further engage with their communities and fire department.”

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Targeted toward off-duty professionals and citizens trained in CPR, the PulsePoint app alerts users when a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) occurs in a nearby public place, directs them to the patient location and provides CPR guidance while LAFD paramedic units are en route to the call. The app also notifies users of the closest available Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). Early application of bystander CPR and rapid defibrillation from an AED have proven to be crucial in improving a person’s chance of surviving SCA. PulsePoint is not limited to emergency responders or those with official CPR certification. It can be used by anyone who has been trained in CPR.

The PulsePoint app also provides users with a display of the LAFD’s active and recent incidents citywide. On average, the LAFD responds to nearly 1,200 daily calls for service; more than 85 percent are for emergency medical services.

“Our youth represent the next generation of CPR-trained citizens. These students living in a connected world have come to expect technology to improve their lives and the lives of those around them,” said Richard Price, founder and president of the PulsePoint Foundation. “The premise of a PulsePoint Connected community truly resonates with them and they have proven to be active participants in this strengthening of the Chain of Survival.”

“Wireless technology plays a critical role in our everyday lives, and the PulsePoint app is a perfect example of how location-based services, apps, smartphones and crowdsourcing help save lives,” said Athena Polydorou, Executive Director of The Wireless Foundation. “The Wireless Foundation is proud to sponsor the roll out of PulsePoint and bring this life saving service to Los Angeles City at no cost to the Fire Department.”

“PulsePoint is a great way to engage bystanders in emergency response and this new Los Angeles partnership will empower a future generation of CPR responders,” said Brian Webster, president and CEO of Physio-Control, PulsePoint’s marketing and implementation partner. “With PulsePoint offering lifesaving technology, the Los Angeles Fire Department contributing high quality CPR expertise, and the Los Angeles Unified School District building a program that engages students, this is truly a model program for engaging a community to respond to sudden cardiac arrest.”

The free PulsePoint app is available for iPhone and Android and can be downloaded from the iTunes Store and Google Play.

About the PulsePoint Foundation

PulsePoint is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through the use of location-aware mobile devices PulsePoint is building applications that work with local public safety agencies to improve communications with citizens, empowering them to help reduce the millions of annual deaths from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Deployment of the PulsePoint app can significantly strengthen the “chain of survival” by improving bystander response to cardiac arrest victims and increasing the chance that lifesaving steps will be taken prior to the arrival of emergency medical services (EMS). PulsePoint is supported by the Wireless Foundation, built and maintained by volunteer engineers at Workday and distributed by our marketing and implementation partner Physio-Control, Inc. Learn more at www.pulsepoint.org or join the conversation at Facebook and Twitter.

About the Wireless Foundation

The Wireless Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to developing and supporting initiatives that use wireless technology to help American communities. The Foundation’s innovative programs benefit consumers in areas such as education, healthcare, safety and the environment. The Foundation was formed by CTIA-The Wireless Association® member companies in 1991. Learn more at www.wirelessfoundation.org.

About Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Although a heart attack can lead to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), the two are not the same. SCA is when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating unexpectedly, whereas a heart attack is when blood flow to the heart is blocked, but the heart continues to beat. Each year, more than 420,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur, making it the leading cause of death in the United States. Survival rates nationally for SCA are less than eight percent, but delivery of CPR can sustain life until paramedics arrive by maintaining vital blood flow to the heart and brain. However, only about a third of SCA victims receive bystander CPR. Without CPR, brain damage or death can occur in minutes. The average EMS response time is nine minutes, even in urban settings; after 10 minutes there is little chance of successful resuscitation. The American Heart Association estimates that effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after SCA, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.

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LAFD: Peter Sanders, (213) 359-7141
PulsePoint: Shannon Smith, (773) 339-7513
The Wireless Foundation: Amy Storey, 202-736-3207

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LAFD and LAUSD

March 4, 2015 | by

Media Advisory: LAFD to Launch PulsePoint Smartphone App & Announce CPR Training Initiative with LAUSD

Los Angeles – Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas and Mayor Eric Garcetti will join representatives from the PulsePoint Foundation, The Wireless Foundation, and the Los Angeles Unified School District to announce the LAFD’s participation in PulsePoint, a free mobile app designed to increase citizen awareness of cardiac arrest and enable them to provide potentially life-saving CPR. The LAFD will also announce a new Hands-Only CPR initiative with LAUSD. Please join us on Wednesday, March 4th, at 9:15 a.m. in the gym at Woodrow Wilson High School, 4500 Multnomah St., Los Angeles 90032.

Who: Mayor Eric Garcetti
LAUSD ESC-East Superintendent Roberto Martinez
LAFD Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas
PulsePoint Foundation President Richard Price
The Wireless Foundation Executive Director Athena Polydorou
Wilson High School Students
When: Wednesday, March 4th
9:15 a.m.
Where: Woodrow Wilson High School
Large Gymnasium
4500 Multnomah St.
Los Angeles 90032

Press Contact:
LAFD: Peter Sanders, (213) 359-7141
PulsePoint: Shannon Smith, (773) 339-7513
LAUSD: Monica Carazo, (213) 241-6767

Additional background information and visual assets available.

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Cleveland Clinic Logo

February 23, 2015 | by

How a Smartphone App Can Help You Save a Life

App notifies you of nearby sudden cardiac arrests

When someone suffers sudden cardiac arrest, they need immediate help. That’s because the chance of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest drops 10 percent for every minute that passes before they receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

A smartphone app called PulsePoint Respond aims to solve that problem by connecting people struck by sudden cardiac arrest with the people who can give them help during the time it takes for emergency medical service (EMS) workers to arrive.

Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions and becomes irregular. The heart beats dangerously fast and blood is not distributed to the body. In the first few minutes, blood flow to the brain may be reduced so drastically that a person loses consciousness. Death follows unless treatment is begun immediately.

Finding help

With emergency medical workers taking an average of seven minutes to arrive at an address — let alone locate the patient at the address — the PulsePoint app crowdsources lifesaving help for people with sudden cardiac arrest, says Thomas Beers, Manager of Emergency Medical Services at Cleveland Clinic.

The app, which is available free on iTunes and Google Play, is integrated into the 911 procedures of participating cities. When emergency dispatchers receive a call regarding a suspected sudden cardiac arrest, they activate an alert to PulsePoint app users at the same time they dispatch local EMS.

The alert notifies app users only when an emergency is in a public place within a quarter-mile. The app uses a smart phone’s geolocation service to direct you to the sick person’s location and the nearest automated external defibrillator (AED), a portable device that checks the heart rhythm and can deliver an electric shock to restore a normal rhythm.

About 1,100 cities and 22 states across the nation participate in the PulsePoint program, which is a project of the PulsePoint Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation based in the San Francisco Bay area.

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Participating cities include Las Vegas and Los Angeles. In 2014, Cleveland Clinic sponsored the cost of the software integration for dispatch centers in the city of Cleveland and five suburban fire departments.

“Cleveland Clinic’s heart program continues to rank as the best in the nation and we saw it as a natural fit to bring the PulsePoint tool to Northeast Ohio,” says Brad Borden, MD, Chair of Cleveland Clinic’s Emergency Services Institute. “We hope that local citizens will join us in our fight to combat the No. 1 cause of death in the United States and encourage everyone who is trained in CPR to download and use the application.”

Hands-only CPR

You don’t have to be formally trained in CPR to help save the life of someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. You can give hands-only CPR by simply pushing hard and fast in the center of the victim’s chest. The PulsePoint app has information on how to do hands-only CPR and even plays a ticking rhythm so you can time your life-saving pushes most effectively.

Having sudden cardiac arrest victims get CPR immediately is so important that in 2008, the American Heart Association (AHA) revised its recommendations to encourage bystanders without formal CPR training to use hands-only CPR in emergency situations.

“If we don’t have people engaging in CPR early on, we’re way behind,” Mr. Beers says. “Without CPR, there’s very little chance we can save them.”

Leading killer

Sudden cardiac arrest affects about 1,000 people a day across the country and claims nearly 90 percent of its victims, according to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation. It is the leading cause of death for people older than age 40.

Sudden cardiac arrest is different from a heart attack, which occurs when one or more of the coronary arteries is blocked, preventing the heart from receiving enough oxygen-rich blood.

With sudden cardiac arrest, CPR keeps enough oxygen in the lungs and gets it to the brain until normal heart rhythm is restored with an electric shock to the chest through defibrillation.

“The PulsePoint app engages people to work as a team to save a life,” Mr. Beers says. “The more people we have out there with this app who can catch the alert, the more likely they can help others in need and give them a better chance for survival.”

Source: Cleveland Clinic

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LA Times Logo

August 6, 2014 | by

LA County Fire Dept. cardiac arrest app to ‘crowd-source good Samaritans’

Hoping to turn regular cellphone-toting Angelenos into rapid responders, the Los Angeles County Fire Department has linked its dispatch system to a cellphone app that will notify CPR-trained good Samaritans when someone in a public place nearby is having a cardiac arrest.

The app, called PulsePoint, sends Fire Department alerts out to mobile phone users at the same time that dispatchers send the official message out to emergency crews — increasing the possibility that a cardiac arrest victim can get life-saving CPR from a bystander while medical responders are still on the way, department officials said Wednesday.

The program also provides cardiopulmonary resuscitation instructions and the location of defibrillators nearby.

“Every person who knows CPR, downloads this app and activates it has their own fire department radio in their pocket,” said Fire Department medical director Dr. Franklin Pratt. “They become the first first responder.”

Enlisting nearby citizens who are prepared to deliver “hands-only CPR” — hard and fast compressions in the center of the chest — could greatly improve survival rates among cardiac arrest sufferers, Los Angeles County fire officials said.

Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby, who was on hand for a press event in Inglewood debuting the system, told The Times that the average emergency crew response time for his department was 5 minutes countywide, and sometimes longer in lower-density, far-flung communities such as Lancaster and Palmdale.

“If a citizen can begin CPR before the paramedics arrive, it increases survival,” he said.

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Medical director Pratt said that when the heart stops beating, the opportunity for survival with a good quality of life diminishes after about 3 or 4 minutes because of injury to the brain and changes in the body that make the heart less responsive. But in the first couple of minutes after cardiac arrest there’s still oxygen in the blood, he added. Immediate CPR can keep that oxygen flowing to the brain.

View the full story by Eryn Brown at the Los Angeles Times.

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Drew in Wheelchair

June 4, 2014 | by

Heart Attack Rescue? There’s an App for That

A new smartphone app that aims to turn ordinary bystanders into heart attack heroes did just that last month, saving the life of a 57-year-old truck driver from Portland, Oregon, who had collapsed outside a gym.

Drew Basse is the first high-profile rescue attributed to PulsePoint, a free mobile app that alerts users when someone is in cardiac arrest nearby.

“Without people like Scott Brawner, I wouldn’t have had a second chance,” said Basse, referring to the off-duty local firefighter who answered the PulsePoint ping.

Basse, a father of two and grandfather to four, is recovering in a Portland rehabilitation center after the May 9 incident that Brawner said was the highlight of his 34-year career.

“I can’t believe that it worked,” said Brawner, 52, of Tualatin, Oregon. “It was just awesome. It still gives me chills.”

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Created on a shoestring budget by Richard Price, a former San Ramon, California, fire chief who didn’t want to miss an emergency call, PulsePoint has gained slow traction since 2009, rolling out to 911 dispatch centers that now cover some 600 U.S. cities.

“We’ve found that people are very willing to put their hand up and say, ‘I’ll help,’” said Price. More than 140,000 people have signed up for PulsePoint so far and more than 7,300 have responded to nearly 2,300 alerts.

Every year in the U.S. there are about 360,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, or about 1,000 a day. Experts who research the problem say PulsePoint may be one way to boost the ranks of those who can perform bystander CPR, which doubles or triples the chances of surviving.

“It’s a great use of technology to enlist the aid of people who are willing and able to help save lives from cardiac arrest,” said Dr. Michael Sayre, an emergency medicine doctor with the University of Washington in Seattle and an leader in resuscitation medicine.

In Basse’s case, he was saved by Brawner, who happened to be working out at the same gym. Brawner’s fire district signed up for PulsePoint about a year ago.

But even he wasn’t expecting the alert that showed up on his phone as he walked on the treadmill, telling him that someone needed CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, right away. He saw a map, an icon of where he was, an icon showing the closet AED or automated external defibrillator — and an icon showing a victim. He quickly ran down two flights of stairs.

“I saw a security guard standing in the parking structure and it just didn’t look right to me,” Brawner said. “That’s where Drew Basse was. He was literally sitting in his car, unconscious, not breathing, no pulse.”

In fact, Brawner thought he looked like a “fresh code,” firefighter slang for someone who is already dead.

Brawner pulled Basse out of his car and started performing CPR. Within minutes, emergency crews arrived and took over, but the time that Brawner kept Basse’s blood pumping was crucial, doctors said.

That’s just what PulsePoint founder Price, 52, had in mind. He was a veteran of 32 years as a firefighter and fire chief, focused on improving bystander CPR and rapid response.

He was at lunch one day when he heard sirens and saw a fire truck pull right up to the business next door. “I wasn’t even aware of it,” he said. “I was actually in uniform. I had an AED in my car. We just weren’t plugged into those types of calls.”

Using technical skill gleaned from years of operating dispatch centers, Price worked with engineering interns from Northern Kentucky University to develop the app. Now, it’s updated and maintained by the firm Workday, which provides technical services for free.

View the full story by JoNel Aleccia at NBC News.

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Portland Map on App

June 3, 2014 | by

Man reunites with firefighter who saved his life

PORTLAND, Ore. — It was a special reunion Tuesday morning for two men in Southeast Portland.

One is grateful to the other for saving his life, and it was all thanks to a phone app.

The meeting was the third for Drew Basse and Scott Brawner. Drew doesn’t remember the first time.
“I was not conscious at all,” he said. “I was completely incoherent.”

That was in a gym parking lot last month, he was having a heart attack.

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Scott performed CPR until rescue crews got there. But the off-duty firefighter and paramedic wouldn’t even have known Drew was in trouble if it wasn’t for the PulsePoint app on his phone.

Scott explained that an alarm goes off and, “If you do have a CPR call, then it will show the nearest location to that and help move the citizen responder to the closest position.”

He says you simple have to follow the dot on a map to find the person in trouble.

Drew knows Scott’s quick action and that app helped save his life.
“They need to make it make it mandatory on people’s phones. If you know CPR you should have the app on your phone.”

Anyone can download the PulsePoint app for free. You don’t even have to know CPR to have it. There’s a guide within the app and a timing to device to help you through “hands only CPR.”

View the newscast and full story by Mary Loos at KATU 2.

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Drew Basse and Scott Brawner

May 27, 2014 | by

PulsePoint App Saves Life of Cardiac Arrest Victim

Life-saving CPR performed after mobile app notifies nearby off-duty firefighter

CFD #1 LogoCLACKAMAS, Ore., May 28, 2014 – On Friday, May 9, 2014 off-duty firefighter Scott Brawner was working out at a local health club when he received an alert through PulsePoint, a 9-1-1 connected mobile app designed to alert CPR-trained citizens of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) emergencies in their proximity. This alert saved a man’s life.

Using the map presented by the PulsePoint app, Scott immediately made his way to the reported patient location. In less than a minute, Scott found the man unconscious in the parking lot outside of the health facility where a security guard had first found him unresponsive and called 9-1-1. Scott immediately assessed and began hands-only CPR. He continued providing chest compressions until paramedics from American Medical Response (AMR) and Clackamas Fire District #1 arrived to provide advanced care.

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“As a fire fighter I know that every minute that passes without a SCA victim receiving resuscitation, the chances of that person surviving decrease 10 percent.” said Scott Brawner, Firefighter/Paramedic with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue (TVF&R). “By adopting PulsePoint, agencies are removing much of the fate and luck in survival by involving CPR-trained citizen rescuers in cardiac arrest response.”

On Saturday, May 17, 2014, at Adventist Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, Scott had the opportunity to meet the man he had saved just a week prior. His name is Drew Basse, a 57-year-old truck driver from Milwaukie, Oregon. Scott also met Drew’s son Shane, 31, and daughter Staci, 27. It was an emotional meeting filled with gratitude and appreciation as Drew is expected to fully recover with no loss of cognitive function because CPR was administered so quickly. The family was especially interested in learning more about the “miracle app” they had heard played such a key role in Drew’s survival.

“This app saved my Dad’s life,” said Shane Basse, “We’re so grateful to the PulsePoint Foundation for creating this life-saving app, Scott Brawner for his heroic actions and Clackamas Fire for not only their quick response, but for adopting this technology.”

“The PulsePoint app did its job by alerting a Good Samaritan simultaneously with the dispatch of our crews, ” said Bill Conway, EMS Officer for Clackamas Fire District #1. “This incredibly positive outcome is why Clackamas Fire, like so many organizations throughout the U.S., invested in this type of technology.”

The app on Scott’s phone is from the non-profit PulsePoint Foundation. The app is designed to reduce collapse-to-CPR and collapse-to-defibrillation times by increasing citizen awareness of cardiac events beyond a traditional “witnessed” area and by displaying the precise location of nearby public access defibrillators (AEDs).

About the PulsePoint Foundation
PulsePoint is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Its mission is to make it much easier for citizens who are trained in CPR to use their life-saving skills to do just that…save lives! Through the use of modern, location-aware mobile devices PulsePoint is building applications that work with local public safety agencies to improve communications with citizens and empower them to help reduce the millions of annual deaths from sudden cardiac arrest.

Deployment of the PulsePoint app can significantly strengthen the “chain of survival” by improving bystander response to SCA victims in public settings and increasing the chance that lifesaving steps will be taken prior to the arrival of emergency medical services (EMS) professionals. Just two years after launching outside the San Ramon Valley (CA) the PulsePoint app has been adopted in 600 cities and communities in 18 states.

PulsePoint is built and maintained by volunteer engineers at Workday, a Silicon Valley-based company that creates enterprise cloud applications, and distributed by Physio-Control. The original idea came from Richard Price, the former chief of the San Ramon Valley Fire Department who wanted to bridge the gap between the critical minutes following SCA and the 13 million Americans who are CPR trained, but often don’t know their skills are required.

The PulsePoint app is available for iPhone and Android and can be downloaded from the iTunes Store™ and Google Play™. Learn more at www.pulsepoint.org.

About Clackamas Fire District #1
Clackamas Fire District #1 provides fire, rescue, and emergency medical services to the cities of Milwaukie, Oregon City, Happy Valley, Johnson City and a portion of Damascus as well as the unincorporated areas of Oak Lodge, Clackamas, Westwood, Carver, Redland, Beavercreek, Carus, Clarkes, and South End/Central Point.

The District has 17 fire stations strategically located throughout Clackamas County with a workforce of more than 200 employees and 100 volunteers. It is the second largest fire protection district in Oregon serving over 179,000 citizens in an area covering nearly 200 square miles.

Clackamas Fire District #1 is a CFAI Accredited agency meeting the highest standards in emergency service delivery.

About TVF&R
Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue provides fire protection and emergency medical services to approximately 454,000 citizens in one of the fastest growing regions in Oregon. The District’s 210 square mile service area includes the cities of Beaverton, Durham, King City, Rivergrove, Sherwood, Tigard, Tualatin, West Linn, and Wilsonville, and unincorporated portions of Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington County. TVF&R is a CFAI Accredited agency.

About Cardiac Arrest
Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for an estimated 424,000 deaths each year, more than 1,000 deaths per day. The American Heart Association estimates that effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. However, less than half of cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR and even fewer receive a potentially lifesaving therapeutic shock from a public access AED. Improving bystander CPR rates and access to AEDs is critical to survival.

Different than a heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest is caused when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions and the heart stops working properly. For every minute that passes without a SCA victim receiving resuscitation, the chances of that person surviving decrease 10 percent. After 10 minutes the chances of survival are minimal.

Contacts
Interview Requests & National Media
Shannon Smith
ssmith@smithmediarelations.com
C: (773) 339-7513
O: (616) 724-4256

General Inquires & Portland-Area Media
Brandon Paxton
brandon.paxton@clackamasfire.com
C: (503) 519-4123
P: (503) 294-3555

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Spokane County PulsePoint Launch

April 13, 2014 | by

PulsePoint Increases Community Awareness of AEDs

SVFD ReenactmentYour chances of surviving a heart attack at Spokane Valley City Hall soon will improve.

After learning about a new effort that uses smartphones to alert CPR-trained volunteers to life-threatening emergencies nearby, city leaders decided to purchase a heart-jolting automated external defibrillator that paramedics say can dramatically improve chances of surviving sudden cardiac arrest.

The easy-to-use medical device, which cost about $1,250, is set to arrive in the next couple of weeks.

“I think we were kind of surprised when we realized there wasn’t one here,” said Deputy Mayor Arne Woodard.

The decision came after the City Council was told last month that Spokane-area fire departments are mapping the locations of AEDs in publicly accessible sites countywide.

The electronic map is part of a smartphone app called PulsePoint that’s linked to the county’s 911 system and alerts trained volunteers to emergencies at the same time that paramedics are being dispatched. The app guides volunteers to the location of the emergency and also shows whether any AEDs are nearby.

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It’s available for free in the Apple App Store or Android Apps on Google Play. Volunteers must register.

Once the city’s new AED arrives, City Hall will be added to the PulsePoint map.

So far, authorities have mapped 102 publicly accessible AEDs in Spokane Valley and they expect that number to climb rapidly over the next year because firefighters now will be asking business owners about the availability of the devices while doing annual site checks, said Fire Chief Bryan Collins.

The Spokane Fire Department and several rural fire protection districts also are mapping AED locations.

The app was developed in northern California where Collins worked before being hired in Spokane Valley.

On average, at least two people a day go into sudden cardiac arrest across Spokane County, said Collins, and chances of survival improve the quicker CPR or AED treatment is initiated.

The PulsePoint app uses smartphone GPS technology to determine whether any CPR volunteers are near the scene of an emergency and alerts them that help is needed. The goal is to get at least hands-only CPR initiated within the first three to five minutes of sudden cardiac arrest.

See the original article on The Spokesman-Review.

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February 15, 2014 | by

App to help heart attack victims

PulsePoint turns anyone into a first responder if there’s a cardiac arrest nearby

Sudden cardiac arrest? There’s an app for that.

Joe Simitian, Santa Clara County Supervisor for District 5 and Mike Wasserman, President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, representing District 1

Santa Clara County Supervisors Joe Simitian and Mike Wasserman

Health and safety officials from Mountain View and around the county are endorsing the local launch of the PulsePoint system, a mobile app that alerts users when someone nearby is having a heart attack, giving good Samaritans the chance to lend a potentially life-saving hand until emergency responders arrive.

PulsePoint functions as a direct link between individuals and local emergency dispatchers. Starting Feb. 14, the app’s local launch date, 911 dispatch centers in Santa Clara County will have the ability to send out a location-based alert to PulsePoint users in the vicinity of a reported heart attack, according to a press release from El Camino Hospital.

“It’s an Amber Alert for cardiac arrest victims,” said Richard Price, president of the PulsePoint Foundation and the former chief of the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District.

The application comes with built-in guides that train people in basic “hands-only” cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) which, Price said, can be learned in minutes and has the potential to make the difference between life and death.

“This is really all about response times,” Price said, explaining that when it comes to sudden cardiac arrest, every minute counts. When someone’s heart stops beating, brain damage can set in after about six minutes and without intervention in the first 10 minutes, the likelihood of death is nearly certain. Very often, he said, “the emergency response crews can’t get there in time”

Basic, hands-only CPR rapid, two-inch-deep chest compressions can help prevent brain damage and keep a person alive until EMTs or paramedics arrive.

“Bystander CPR use is critical,” Price said.

According to the American Heart Association, about 1,000 people have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the U.S. every day, but only 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims receive CPR from a bystander. Given statistics like those, Price said he figures that the more people that adopt the PulsePoint app, the better. “We’re pretty much putting a radio in everybody’s hand, so we can dispatch people,” he said.

Jaime Garrett, public information officer for the Mountain View Fire Department, said the department is looking forward to the PulsePoint launch.

“It really increases our community members’ chances of survival should a cardiac arrest or a cardiac incident happen in a public place,” Garrett said. “With any cardiac incident, the sooner CPR is initiated, the better the chances of survival. It gives our residents the tools necessary to be able to respond in a timely manner.”

Garrett, like Price, recommended that everyone with an Android, or iOS device download the app. PulsePoint can be found in the Apple App Store and the Android marketplace on the Google Play site.

Anyone with the PulsePoint app on a mobile device will get a notification of cardiac events occurring within a quarter mile of their location at the time the alert is issued. The app’s users will also be given directions from their location to the site of the reported victim, as well as information on any nearby automated external defibrillators a device that uses electricity to restart the heart of victims of cardiac arrest.

Price, who developed the app in coordination with cloud application maker Workday, said the idea first came to him when he was on a lunch break during his tenure as chief of San Ramon Valley Fire.

He was in uniform, eating his lunch, when an ambulance pulled up outside the restaurant. Someone was having a heart attack in the building next door and he had no idea it was happening.

“It was a pretty shocking experience,” Price recalls especially considering the fact that he could have helped if he only had known. “That was the genesis of the app.”

View the entire news story by Nick Veronin at the Mountain View Voice.

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