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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September 3, 2015 | by

Off-Duty Firefighter and Neighbor Rescue Resident From House Fire

Two residents of a home located at 18111 SW Kramien Road in Wilsonville were awoken by a quickly moving fire at approximately 6:05 a.m. today.

One resident was able to escape safely. A second resident was still inside the house.

As neighbors called 911, an off-duty TVF&R firefighter who lived nearby, was alerted to the fire via the PulsePoint app on his smartphone. TVF&R Firefighter Chris Mills and neighbor Jesse Keller pulled one adult woman to safety to on-scene medical crews.

Crews en route to the scene saw a large column of black smoke prompting escalation of the incident to a second-alarm response. This brought additional resources, including water tenders to shuttle water to the scene for firefighting.

On arrival, crews found a single-story house fully involved in fire. Crews began fighting the fire while additional crews tended to the rescued patient. Firefighters searched the home and confirmed no additional occupants were inside.

One patient sustained life-threatening injuries as a result of the fire and was transported by Life Flight helicopter to a local hospital. One patient was assessed on scene and taken to a local hospital for evaluation as a precaution. A number of animals were found on-scene, including four dogs, one cat, one parakeet, and a number of ducks and geese. Two dogs perished as a result of the fire.

Approximately 70 firefighters responded to the incident, including crews from Newberg Fire Department and Dundee Fire Department.

TVF&R investigators are on-scene and continue to interview witnesses and evaluate material evidence to determine the cause of the fire. No damage estimate is available at this time.

TVF&R would like to remind everyone that working smoke alarms can save lives. Combined with a family escape plan and central meeting place, families can better prepare themselves in the event of a fire emergency in your home.

Source: Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue

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July 23, 2014 | by

Be More Than a Bystander

With the help of an awesome app, this firefighter saved a stranger’s life—and you could do the same

every-day-heroes-article-Brawner-400pxJust past 7:15 a.m. on May 9, off-duty firefighter Scott Brawner was working out to Pandora on the treadmill at his local 24-Hour Fitness in Clackamas, Oregon, when he received a series of alerts, overriding the music, on his iPhone.

The notification came from PulsePoint, a new 911-connected mobile app designed to let him, and up to 10 other CPR-trained citizens in the area, know that someone nearby was suffering Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) and needed assistance ASAP. A map suddenly popped up on his screen, and within less than a minute, he found the unconscious man, 57-year-old Drew Basse, in the gym parking lot.

“As soon as I got outside, I noticed a security guard looking upset. I ran over to him, and that’s where I found Mr. Basse, sitting in his car with the door wide open. He had no pulse and he was not breathing,” says Brawner, 53, a veteran firefighter and paramedic with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, Oregon’s second-largest fire department.

“It looked like it had just happened; he still had some bubbly spit around his mouth. So I grabbed him by his arms and pulled him out of his car,” says Brawner, who notes it wasn’t easy to move the approximately 265-pound Basse. He immediately started chest compressions at a rate of over 100 per minute while waiting for the ambulance, which the security guard had called earlier and is the reason Brawner had received the smartphone alert.

When paramedics arrived within 5 minutes, they were able to quickly get Basse breathing with a pulse again. But they were only successful at reviving Basse because of Brawner’s life-saving efforts.

Four days later, Brawner visited the hospital to check in on Basse and meet his family. “I’ve had a lot of people live throughout my career, but I’ve never had that one-on-one connection with somebody. I’m really happy how well that app worked. It allowed me to find him so fast,” says Brawner, who represents the first big success story for this new technology that was the brainchild of Richard Price, the former chief of California’s San Ramon Valley Fire Department, who wanted to connect the 13 million Americans who are CPR-trained with people who need their immediate help.

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“It’s pretty remarkable,” says Brawner, still in awe. “If I had taken a minute longer to get to him, he would have not survived.” Basse now has an implantable defibrillator in his chest and is expected to have a full recovery. He returned home from the rehab facility last week and will eventually go back to work as a truck driver. And Brawner and Basse have plans to go golfing this month.

View the full story by Chistina Goyanes at Men’s Health.

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Scott Brawner Alert

June 6, 2014 | by

A CPR App Is Saving Lives One Text at a Time

Calling 9-1-1 triggers a life-saving chain of events from a free smartphone app.

In May of this year, cardiac arrest struck Drew Basse, a 57-year-old truck driver in Clackamas, Ore., too suddenly for him to even call for help.

“I remember sitting down in my car and the dome light being on — then I was completely knocked out,” Basse said. He didn’t even have time to call 9-1-1. But a passing security guard did, starting a life-saving chain of events involving a free smartphone app called PulsePoint.

The security guard’s 9-1-1 call automatically sent a message to PulsePoint, and a text message alert went out from the app saying that someone needed CPR.

Scott Brawner, an off-duty firefighter from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue in Canby, Ore., happened to be on a treadmill at a nearby 24-hour fitness center when he got the app alert on his iPhone, telling him where someone was in need of CPR.

Brawner was surprised when the app kicked in, he said. “I was listening to Pandora — it turned off the radio, made a tone, and showed a map and AED location,” he said. “I had never seen the place before and I ran right to it.” On the way, Brawner could see where he was going on his iPhone map.

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He found Basse alone in his car sitting bolt upright. The security guard was there and shaken up, said Brawner, and he didn’t know CPR.

“I wasn’t even breathing when Scott Brawner found me,” said Basse.

“I pulled Drew out of the driver’s seat, laid him on the ground, and started CPR. I did a few hundred cycles of hands-only CPR — 100 beats per minute, compressions only. Then the ambulance and fire department came and I moved aside. It’s a little bit of a blur,” said Brawner.

The firefighter found out about the PulsePoint smartphone CPR alert system at the fire department he worked about a year ago. “During the roll-out I thought it would be great to put on my phone, and my wife downloaded it too. She’s also trained in CPR,” Brawner said. “I’ve been a paramedic for 34 years and have never seen anything like it,” he said about the app, which works on both iOS and Android devices.

While the American Heart Association reports that 9 out of 10 of the 359,400 people who went into cardiac arrest outside of a hospital in 2013 died, Basse’s case turned out differently.

View the full story by Jennifer J. Brown at Everyday Health.

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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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January 23, 2014 | by

Cardiac app coming to Bend

Smartphone app alerts of heart emergencies

Bend, ORYou’ve gone into cardiac arrest.

With every minute that passes without resuscitation, you’re 10 percent less likely to survive. After 5 minutes, your odds are cut in half.

Paramedics with the Bend Fire Department take an average of 8 minutes to show up, so your life may hinge on the off-chance a nearby Good Samaritan knows CPR.

If you live in Bend, that chance may increase as soon as this summer. The Bend Fire Department is implementing a smartphone app called PulsePoint, which syncs with the local emergency dispatch to automatically alert volunteers within close range to start CPR on a cardiac arrest patient before the ambulance arrives.

Steve O’Malley, Bend Fire’s deputy chief of emergency medical services, said the department in recent years has stepped up its handling of cardiac arrests — recording data and reviewing each case, examining its protocols against American Heart Association guidelines — and part of that means allowing the public to get involved.

“What this does is it gives legs to people that are public-safety minded, that are altruistic, that would like to help their fellow man,” he said. “It just kind of gives a really tangible way to make that happen.”

Once PulsePoint’s software is synced with emergency dispatch, those who download the free app receive an alert on their phones any time there is a report of a cardiac arrest within a half-mile from them. (Cities can set their own distances. Urban areas usually go with a quarter-mile.) The alert is automatic, so 911 dispatchers don’t need to press any more buttons than usual. The cardiac arrest also must happen in a public place in order for the alert to go off.

Read the full article by Tara Bannow at The Bulletin.

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