September 26, 2017 | by

Off-Duty Firefighters Partner with National Pilot Program to Save Lives

Madison, WI – A new pilot program will allow off-duty City of Madison firefighters and paramedics to provide life-saving care when someone experiences a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in their home.

Madison only fourth city nationally to participate

The PulsePoint Verified Responder Pilot Program launches in Madison through a partnership of the PulsePoint Foundation, Madison Fire Department, International Association of Fire Fighters Local 311, and automated external defibrillator (AED) manufacturer Philips.

“With Verified Responder, we now have the new opportunity to send off-duty professional firefighters and paramedics from the Madison Fire Department into a home or private location in response to a cardiac arrest in the City of Madison,” explained City of Madison Fire Chief Steven Davis. “We are honored to be the fourth site in the country selected for the Verified Responder program, which will dramatically broaden our impact to save lives.”

In February 2015, the smart phone app PulsePoint was launched in Madison and Dane County to improve cardiac arrest survival rates by notifying CPR-trained citizen volunteers when someone is experiencing a cardiac arrest in a nearby public location. But nearly 74 percent of cardiac arrests in Madison occur at home, which is why the addition of Verified Responder is so important.

The Verified Responder Pilot Program utilizes the PulsePoint app and alerts trained responders of a SCA in private locations. In addition, Philips is providing an AED for use by every participating firefighter and paramedic so that if they respond, they can employ the same technology that is used by emergency medical responders and physicians when a heart has stopped beating. Participants from the Madison Fire Department are certified emergency medical technicians (EMTs) or paramedics who receive background checks as part of employment as sworn public safety personnel.

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More than 350,000 Americans each year suffer an out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) where the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. Nearly 90 percent are fatal. If treated early with CPR, and in some cases defibrillation, the chances of survival can double or even triple. “Studies have shown time and time again that the two major determinates of survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest are immediate bystander chest compressions and prompt defibrillation,” said City of Madison Fire Department Medical Director Michael Lohmeier. “This program significantly increases the opportunity and access to both of those life-saving interventions, and therefore has the opportunity to positively impact survival rates in the City of Madison. We are excited to see these results become a reality.”

The effort will gather important data from the City of Madison’s pilot program, and will combine it with existing technology and clinical insights to inform future lifesaving strategies and products. During the pilot, King County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in Seattle will assist with programmatic evaluation for potential expansion to additional communities. The pilot program runs through December 2018.

“Our firefighters feel a great responsibility to the community that we serve, and we are excited to now be able to make our members available to those suffering from cardiac arrest, both on-duty and now off-duty as well, 24-hours a day,” said Mahlon Mitchell, President of International Association of Fire Fighters Local 311. “We look forward to utilizing the Verified Responder program and are hopeful that we can make a significant impact to those in need of help.”

Access to the PulsePoint app has been funded by the UnityPoint Health-Meriter Foundation since its launch in Madison and Dane County in 2015. There are 26,000 PulsePoint users locally. The app is now in more than 2,500 communities in 35 states with more than 1,000,000 users nationwide.

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 and off-duty personnel, empowering them to help reduce the millions of annual deaths from sudden cardiac arrest. Learn more at pulsepoint.org or join the conversation at Facebook and Twitter. The free app is available for download on iTunes and Google Play.

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Media Contacts
Cynthia Schuster (Public Information Officer), (608) 261-5539, cschuster@cityofmadison.com

Source: City of Madison Press Release

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September 6, 2017 | by

Off-Duty Professional Firefighters Partner with National Pilot Program to Save Lives

Spokane, Wash – Spokane County is the third of four sites in the United States selected for a pilot program to utilize off-duty professional firefighters in response to cardiac arrest calls in public and private settings.

The PulsePoint Verified Responder Pilot Program is being launched in Spokane through a partnership of the PulsePoint Foundation, Spokane Fire Department, Spokane Valley Fire Department, International Association of Firefighters Locals 29, 876 and 3701, and automated external defibrillator (AED) manufacturer Philips. The first two pilot sites for the Verified Responder program were implemented earlier this year in Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue (Oregon) and the City of Sioux Falls (South Dakota). A fourth site in Madison (WI) is set to come online in the coming weeks.

More than 350,000 Americans each year have an out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) where the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating; nearly 90 percent are fatal. If treated early with CPR and in some cases defibrillation, the chances of survival can double or even triple.

In February 2014, PulsePoint was launched in the Spokane region to improve cardiac arrest survival rates by notifying CPR-trained citizen volunteers when someone is experiencing a cardiac emergency in a nearby public location. PulsePoint is a smart phone app designed to support public safety agencies in improving cardiac arrest survival rates. The app is now in more than 2500 communities in 35 states with more than 1,000,000 users.

“Since we launched PulsePoint here locally, we’ve grown to more than 22,000 users and hundreds of ‘CPR-needed’ activations with citizen responders,” explained Bryan Collins, Spokane Valley Fire Department Chief. “With Verified Responder, we now have the opportunity to send off-duty professional firefighters into a home or private location in response to a cardiac emergency, which will dramatically broaden our impact to save lives.”

The Verified Responder Pilot Program utilizes the PulsePoint app. In addition, Philips is providing an AED to every participating firefighter so that if they respond, they can employ the same technology that is used by emergency medical responders and physicians to restart a heart that has stopped beating. Participating professional firefighters are certified emergency medical technicians (EMTs) or paramedics who receive background checks as part of employment.

The effort will gather important data from the Spokane area pilot program and combine it with existing technology and clinical insights to inform future lifesaving strategies and products. During the pilot, King County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in Seattle will be assisting with programmatic evaluation for potential expansion to additional communities. The pilot program runs through December 2018.

“We were proud to help introduce PulsePoint to the Spokane region three years ago,” said Brian Schaeffer, Spokane Fire Department Chief, “and we are honored to be the third site in the country selected for the Verified Responder program. We know that nearly 74 percent of cardiac incidents in Spokane County occur in a private home or location. Our off-duty first responders are dedicated to improving survival rates in our community when sudden cardiac arrest strikes in a private or public location.”

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 and off-duty personnel, empowering them to help reduce the millions of annual deaths from sudden cardiac arrest. Learn more at pulsepoint.org or join the conversation at Facebook and Twitter. The free app is available for download on iTunes and Google Play.

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Media Contacts
Melanie Rose, Spokane Valley Fire Department (509) 496-3344
Michele Anderson, Spokane Fire Department (509) 742-0063

Source: Press Release

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February 14, 2017 | by

Pilot Program Leverages Off-Duty Professional Firefighters, Technology and Defibrillators to Save Lives

Each year, approximately 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside a hospital setting in the United States. Nearly 90 percent of these events prove fatal, and the chance of survival decreases by ten percent with every passing minute without CPR.*

Though survival rates in the Northwest exceed the national average, a coalition of professional first responders, clinicians, researchers and a leading medical equipment manufacturer aim to make the region the frontrunner in cardiac arrest response and survival.

The PulsePoint Foundation, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, International Association of Firefighters Local 1660 and automatic external defibrillator (AED) manufacturer Philips Healthcare have partnered to launch the Verified Responder Pilot Program that will activate off-duty professional firefighters to respond to cardiac arrest calls in public and private settings. Participating professional firefighters are also certified emergency medical technicians or paramedics who receive background checks in the state of Oregon.

Philips Healthcare is loaning every participating firefighter an AED so that if they respond, they can employ the same technology that is used by emergency medical responders and physicians to restart a heart that has stopped beating. The effort will gather important data from the pilot and combine it with existing technology and clinical insights to inform future lifesaving strategies and products. During the pilot, King County EMS (WA) will be assisting in programmatic evaluation for potential expansion to additional communities. King County currently leads the nation in survival rates for cardiac arrest victims.

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Quotes from participating organizations in Verified Responder Pilot Program:

PulsePoint Foundation
“In the way PulsePoint Respond has engaged citizens to respond to public cardiac arrests, the Verified Responder Pilot Program could fundamentally change how off-duty first responders are utilized during time-critical emergencies occurring in private locations. First responders typically see one-third of personnel on-duty while two-thirds are off-duty. By automatically notifying nearby off-duty professionals when dispatching first responders, the potential to save lives on incidents such as cardiac arrest increases significantly.”

“Firefighters know all too well that their skills are sometimes needed when off-the-clock. In some ways, PulsePoint Verified Responder simply formalizes the ‘always in service’ dedication and full time commitment that comes with the badge. The PulsePoint Foundation salutes the TVF&R firefighters for their leadership in this pilot program and for their strengthened pledge of around-the-clock service to the community.”
– Richard Price, president and founder of the PulsePoint Foundation

Philips Healthcare
“Despite the widespread availability of AEDs today, people are not always aware of them and don’t know how easy they are to use. People may still hesitate to intervene when someone is experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest. We understand that the moments between someone’s heart stopping and when the emergency responders get to the scene are crucial, and we are grateful for the opportunity to be part of this important pilot program. The faster help is able to intervene, the greater opportunity for another life saved.”
-Joe Sovak, General Manager, Emergency Care and Resuscitation, Philips.

King County EMS
“This program has great potential to save lives. If demonstrated effective it will serve as a model for the rest of the nation.”
-Mickey Eisenberg, MD, PhD, Director of Medical QI, King County EMS

“In resuscitation, rescuers are literally snatching life from the jaws of death. This challenge is great and we need to take advantage of innovative ideas if we are to save more lives from cardiac arrest. The Verified Responder program is a remarkable community project – the first of its kind in the US – that brings together the best of public service, technology, and medical care to save lives from cardiac arrest. The program may transform the way we approach this leading cause of death and provide a new and effective strategy for resuscitation.”
-Tom Rea, MD, Medical Program Director, King County EMS

Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue
“Sudden cardiac arrest remains a major killer in the United States. Although survival has improved in some communities, there is large geographic variation across the country with survival rates ranging from 1% to 20%. Two of the key links in the American Heart Association’s “Chain of Survival” are early CPR and timely defibrillation. The PulsePoint Verified Responder program addresses both of these needs in communities that are trying to improve their survival. TVFR has been actively involved in ways to improve survival from SCA and was the first fire agency to introduce Pulse Point in Oregon. Our line personnel are dedicated to reversing the tragedy of SCA which often strikes its victims without any warning. We are honored to be part of this pilot effort that has the potential to improve survival rates dramatically in the United States.”
-Mohamud Daya, MD, EMS Medical Director for Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue and Washington County

Consolidated Communications Agency (9-1-1)
“Four years ago, we were the first fire department in Oregon to launch PulsePoint’s app for citizen responders. We are humbled to partner with them again as the first agency to pilot the Verified Responder program and hope that it’s the beginning of a national movement. Having lost my own father from sudden cardiac arrest, I am personally and professionally committed to sparing other families from potential heartbreak.”
-Fire Chief Mike Duyck, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue.

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 built and maintained by volunteer engineers at Workday and CTIA Wireless Foundation is a key sponsor and advocate of PulsePoint, providing industry and financial support. Learn more at www.pulsepoint.org or join the conversation at Facebook and Twitter. The free app is available for download on iTunes and Google Play.

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Source: Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue

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