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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June 8, 2017 | by

New Program Combines Off-Duty Professional Firefighters, Technology, and Defibrillators to help Save Lives

Sioux Falls, South Dakota (June 8, 2017): Sioux Falls will be the second site 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 Verified Responder Pilot Program is being launched in Sioux Falls through a partnership of the PulsePoint Foundation, Sioux Falls Fire Rescue, International Association of Firefighters Local 814, and automated external defibrillator (AED) manufacturer Philips. The first pilot site for the Verified Responder program was implemented earlier this year with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue in Oregon.

More than 350,000 Americans each year have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) where the heart stops beating, and only 12 percent survive, according to the American Heart Association. The chance of survival decreases by ten percent with every passing minute without CPR.

“Although survival rates in the Sioux Falls area are above the national average, our community continues to strive to increase a person’s chance of survival during a sudden cardiac event,” says Brad Goodroad, Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Chief. “We know that survival relies on early CPR and early defibrillation.”

The community has already been using PulsePoint Respond, a software application designed to support public safety agencies in improving cardiac arrest survival rates by notifying CPR-trained volunteers if someone nearby in a public location is having a cardiac emergency. Since its introduction five years ago, the PulsePoint application has saved numerous lives in the United States when cardiac arrest happened in public places. However, there were no programs in the United States with the ability to respond to a home or private location prior to or along with emergency responders, and the Verified Responder program allows us to close that gap.

The Verified Responder Pilot Program utilizes the PulsePoint application. In addition, Philips Healthcare has provided AEDs to participating firefighters who can then respond to cardiac emergencies. Participating professional firefighters are certified emergency medical technicians or paramedics who receive background checks as part of employment with Sioux Falls Fire Rescue.

The effort will gather important data from the Sioux Falls pilot for future lifesaving strategies and products. During the pilot, King County Emergency Medical Services in Washington State will assist with programmatic evaluation for potential expansion to additional communities.

“We were proud to introduce PulsePoint to Sioux Falls several years ago,” says Goodroad, “and we are honored to be the second site in the country selected for the Verified Responder program. Sudden cardiac arrest strikes without warning, and our team is dedicated to improving survival rates in our community.”

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Contact
Jeff Helm, Division Chief
Sioux Falls Fire Rescue
605-367-8078

Source: City of Sioux Falls Press Release

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