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 or join the conversation at Facebook and Twitter. The free app is available for download on iTunes and Google Play.


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

Source: Press Release

Full Story

February 14, 2014 | by

Announcing the Rollout of PulsePoint in Spokane County

Media Contact: Captain Scott Crawford – (509) 954-4750, PIO Bill Clifford – (509) 928-1700

What: The Spokane County Combined Communications Center and Spokane County Fire Departments are proud to announce the arrival of the PulsePoint smartphone App in Spokane County.

When: Friday, February 14, 2014 from 10:00 AM to Noon

Where: Spokane Fire Department Field House, 1618 N. Rebecca Spokane, WA 99212

Now your smartphone can help you save a life. A free smartphone App called PulsePoint will soon be available in Spokane County. PulsePoint enables subscribers who are CPR trained to be alerted to a sudden cardiac arrest at the same time emergency responders are notified. Registered users will be notified when a sudden cardiac arrest has occurred in a public place within their vicinity. PulsePoint will give the citizen responder mapping directions, notify them of any automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in the area, and provide radio traffic of the emergency responders. Early CPR is the key if a sudden cardiac arrest victim is to survive. When a person goes into sudden cardiac arrest, their heart, brain, and other vital organs no longer receive oxygen. Researchers have found that without early CPR within the first 3 to 5 minutes, a sudden cardiac arrest victim’s chances of survival are dramatically reduced. The free PulsePoint app can be found in the Apple App Store or on Google Play.

You only need to be willing to do “Hands-Only” CPR. According to the American Heart Association, Hands-Only CPR has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR in the first minutes of sudden cardiac arrest. Subscribers can also view active fire and emergency medical incidents and monitor emergency radio traffic.


Welcome and introductions: Bobby Williams – Spokane Fire Chief

PulsePoint Origins and History: Bryan Collins – Spokane Valley Fire Chief

PulsePoint – Enhancing the chain of survival: Michael Metcalf, M.D. – EMS Council

Spokane County Combined Communications Center role in PulsePoint activations: Brian Schaeffer – Spokane Fire Assistant Chief

A personal story of survival: Survivor Speaker – Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation

On screen walkthrough of finding, downloading, installing, and configuring the app: Brian Schaeffer – Spokane Fire Assistant Chief

  • Find the app on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
  • Install the app.
  • Choose agency and alert options.
  • Learn about other features.

PulsePoint demonstration: With sudden cardiac arrest victim, PulsePoint activation, Good Samaritan response, AED acquisition, arrival of SVFD Paramedics and AMR, demonstration of Pit Crew CPR.

Closing Remarks: Bobby Williams – Spokane Fire Chief

Additionally there will be:

Knowledge experts on site to show event participants PulsePoint and help them install and configure the app on their phones and other devices.
Handouts discussing Early Activation, Early CPR, Early Defibrillation with the AED, Rapid Transport, Emergency Room and Hospital Care.
Heart healthy snacks and drinks for attendees.



Full Story