December 23, 2013 | by

Fargo, Moorhead unveil app to get quicker help for sudden cardiac arrest victims

Moorhead Fire Chief Richard DuysenA new local smartphone app may help save lives by turning more people into rescuers.

A new local smartphone app may help save lives by turning more people into rescuers.

The PulsePoint app is integrated with the Red River Regional Dispatch Center, which handles calls throughout the metro area. When a call comes in about a suspected cardiac arrest, the 911 communications center activates an alert to PulsePoint app users simultaneously with Fargo and Moorhead fire and police units and F-M Ambulance.

Using a smartphone’s geo-location services, the app alerts users trained in CPR who are within a quarter-mile of the victim, directing them via a live map to the person suffering cardiac arrest. It will also show the nearest automated external defibrillator, or AED.

Fire chiefs from both cities unveiled the app during a news conference at Fargo City Hall on Monday and said they expect the app to improve the communities’ survival rate for sudden cardiac arrest – a frequently fatal condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating.

“When someone experiences cardiac arrest, time is critical,” said Fargo Fire Chief Steve Dirksen. “A victim may die within minutes unless they receive early CPR and have access to a defibrillator.”

Moorhead Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Wallin said the two cities are the first fire departments in North Dakota and Minnesota to implement PulsePoint.

“I would like to think we are at the front of a wave that is just sweeping across the country right now,” Wallin said.

Read the full article by Robin Huebner at INFORUM.