News 3 (WISC-TV) Logo

February 5, 2015 | by

App could help Dane County citizens save lives

WISC-TV (CBS) News Story

Dane County residents are being asked to download a new smartphone app that could turn them into citizen first responders when someone is having a sudden cardiac arrest.

It’s called PulsePoint, and two Madison firefighters have worked to bring the technology that’s currently operating in cities like Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Cleveland to the Dane County 911 Center. When an emergency call for a cardiac arrest comes in, if the event is in a public place, an alert will be sent to those who have downloaded the app who are within one-quarter mile of the incident, at the same time that it’s sent to paramedics.

The goal is to crowd-source Good Samaritans, and get CPR help to victims before paramedics can arrive. The app provides instructions on how to do CPR in addition to directions to the person who suffered the cardiac arrest.

“We know there’s people out there with the training. We know there are people out there willing to help, and we know that they’re presently unaware many times of incidents that are close to them,” Madison firefighter Christopher Carbon said. “When you show up on scene and you do have bystander compressions going on, you immediately know the chances of survival are better.”

Last year, there were 547 sudden cardiac arrests in Dane County. The Pulse Point Foundation reports an estimated 325,000 people die every year in America from sudden cardiac arrest or roughly one every two minutes. Doctors say permanent brain damage or death can occur within eight minutes of a sudden cardiac arrest.

“Cardiac arrest, you know you hear that and you know it’s go-time,” said Madison firefighter Paul Britain, who worked with Carbon to bring Pulse Point to Dane County. “It’s happening all over, all the time.”

Evidence of how the app can work came last fall in Spokane, Washington, when a 911 call came in for a non-breathing baby at a ballet studio. The Pulse Point alert went out and using GPS technology, an alert popped up two blocks away on the phone of a local mechanic who volunteered as an EMT. He left the car he was working on, raced to the scene, administered CPR and saved the baby’s life before paramedics could get there.

“I thought that’s what it means,” Britain said after hearing about the Spokane story. “That’s what this project means to me. That’s how it works and that’s how it should work.”

Full Story

Carbon, who also works with Meriter Hospital, brought the idea to the medical center’s foundation, which agreed to pay at least $20,500 to install, operate and promote the program for its first year. National estimates are that 55-60 percent of all Americans have had some form of CPR training. Carbon said people want to help and the app gives them the chance to do so.

“It’s sort of like somebody opening the door and yelling outside for help, but just having a larger radius and more reach to it,” he said. “I do think the willingness to help is there. The excitement here is that people can return to their normal lives. People can enjoy their families and enjoy their careers and enjoy the things they were doing before the (cardiac arrest) happened. So, I think that’s where some of this excitement comes about. That when it works, it can work really well.”

Carbon and Britain believe Wisconsin’s Good Samaritan law protects those who would offer help to those in need. Further, they say the app tracks phones or places that phones are rather than people, thereby protecting the privacy of those who have the phones.

“There is an option to respond, it’s not an obligation,” Carbon said. “At the end of the day, I think we would always say, doing something is better than doing nothing.”

The app is available on both Apple and the Android phones.

Less Story

November 11, 2013 | by

Here’s how to save a life

Daniel and Charlette SandersAfter Scott Hansen’s heart gave out last year, strangers used its power to give him another chance at life. When Bill Pelow’s heart stopped in 2011, Daniel Velazquez became his lifeline because of it.

Charlette Sanders isn’t a widow today and her children have a father because she learned the lifesaving technique during an emergency conversation with 911 operator Amy Breitenbach.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, better known as CPR, the only known method of keeping someone alive until medically necessary treatment can be administered, saves tens of thousands of lives in heart-related crises annually in the United States alone.

But as wonderful as that is, it is also true that tens of thousands of other Americans die because CPR isn’t used. The American Heart Association reports that less than one-third of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims — there are about 400,000 each year — receive CPR from a bystander.

David Slattery, Las Vegas Fire and Rescue’s medical director, said studies show that Americans find intervening “very scary” because they’re not medically trained and that fear often paralyzes them.

Considering that cardiac arrest survival falls an estimated 7 percent to 10 percent for every minute without CPR and that it takes an average of four to six minutes across the country for rescue personnel to arrive, the low rate of bystander CPR plays a critical role on outcomes.

Less than 8 percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital survive.

Read the full post by Paul Harasim at the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Full Story

August 14, 2013 | by

Saving lives through an app

ArvadaPressSmart phones these days can do much more than just making a call — and now that includes saving a life.

The Arvada Fire Protection District launched its own channel on the PulsePoint smart phone app on Aug. 5.

Once someone downloads the free app and sets Arvada Fire as their host location, the app alerts the user if a person in a nearby public place goes into cardiac arrest and needs hands-only CPR.

“All you need is CPR knowledge, you don’t have to be certified, just have knowledge of how to do chest compressions and it will notify you if CPR is needed in a public place within walking distance of where you are,” said Arvada Fire public information officer Scott Pribble.

Using GPS technology, the app notifies users about emergencies within about a 1,000 foot radius of where they are in a public place, such as a store, restaurant or park.

“I know it has saved lives,” Pribble said.

Read the full story by Sara Van Cleve at Our Colorado News.

Full Story

August 5, 2013 | by

PulsePoint app tells users someone nearby needs CPR

Fox31DenverARVADA, Colo. — The Arvada Fire Department is teaming up with a smart phone app developer in an effort to mix altruism with geo-location technology to save lives.
PulsePoint is a free app that can help someone who is having sudden cardiac arrest.

Users register through the app that they know CPR. The app will then notify the user if someone nearby is having cardiac arrest. It gives directions to the victim as well as show any nearby defibrillators.

The app is activated by 911 dispatchers and alerts go to anyone within walking distance of the victim, that is CPR trained and is willing to help.

The notifications are also only made if the victim is in a public place such as a mall or park, said Arvada fire spokesman Scott Pribble.

Read the full story by Thomas Hendrick at FOX31 Denver (KDVR).

Full Story

August 5, 2013 | by

New Arvada Fire Channel app launched by Arvada Fire could save a life

ARVADA – Arvada Fire launched the PulsePoint application on the Arvada Fire Channel, which could potentially help save lives.

Click here if video not displaying properly.

The free application notifies registered users of a cardiac arrest that has occurred in a public place nearby. PulsePoint puts out a map giving directions to the person, the location of the AEDs in the area, and in the future, it will also provide the radio traffic of the emergency responders.

To sign up for this application, a person has to be willing to do “hands-only” CPR, and the Good Samaritan Law covers anyone who is willing to help.

For iPhone users, PulsePoint can be searched and directly downloaded from the App Store. Android users can find the app under the same name on Google Play.

Full Story

August 5, 2013 | by

Turn Your Smart Phone into a Life Saver

Arvada FPD LogoARVADA – Your smart phone can do so many things from keeping your life on schedule, to checking your social media status and even playing games. Now your phone can help you save a life.

On Monday, August 5th, Arvada Fire will launch the Arvada Fire channel on the smart phone application, PulsePoint. The free PulsePoint app, which is available in your phone’s app store, will notify registered users of a cardiac arrest that has occurred in a public place that is in their vicinity. The app will give the citizen responder mapping directions, it will notify them of any automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) that are in the area and will, in the near future, even provide the radio traffic of the emergency responders.
When a person goes into sudden cardiac arrest, their heart, lungs and brain no longer receive the oxygen that they need to survive. For every minute that they do not receive chest compressions, their chance of survival decreases by 10%. Quick math would tell you that they would have zero chance of survival after just 10 minutes. That is why it is so important to get this process started before emergency responders arrive on the scene.

So, you want to help but mouth-to-mouth grosses you out? No problem. To sign up for this app, 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 few minutes of an out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest. Have you been trained in CPR but your card has expired? No problem. You do not need to be CPR certified to participate in this program. The Good Samaritan Law covers anyone who is willing to help as long as they do not attempt to do more than they are trained to do.

We are available to do interviews for the morning shows if you are interested. Shots could include an interview about how the app works and a brief lesson on “Hands-Only” CPR.

PulsePoint is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their 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.

See more at:

Scott Pribble, Public Information Officer
Deanna Harrington, Public Information Officer


Full Story