September 26, 2017 | by

Off-Duty Firefighters Partner with National Pilot Program to Save Lives

Madison, WI – A new pilot program will allow off-duty City of Madison firefighters and paramedics to provide life-saving care when someone experiences a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in their home.

Madison only fourth city nationally to participate

The PulsePoint Verified Responder Pilot Program launches in Madison through a partnership of the PulsePoint Foundation, Madison Fire Department, International Association of Fire Fighters Local 311, and automated external defibrillator (AED) manufacturer Philips.

“With Verified Responder, we now have the new opportunity to send off-duty professional firefighters and paramedics from the Madison Fire Department into a home or private location in response to a cardiac arrest in the City of Madison,” explained City of Madison Fire Chief Steven Davis. “We are honored to be the fourth site in the country selected for the Verified Responder program, which will dramatically broaden our impact to save lives.”

In February 2015, the smart phone app PulsePoint was launched in Madison and Dane County to improve cardiac arrest survival rates by notifying CPR-trained citizen volunteers when someone is experiencing a cardiac arrest in a nearby public location. But nearly 74 percent of cardiac arrests in Madison occur at home, which is why the addition of Verified Responder is so important.

The Verified Responder Pilot Program utilizes the PulsePoint app and alerts trained responders of a SCA in private locations. In addition, Philips is providing an AED for use by every participating firefighter and paramedic so that if they respond, they can employ the same technology that is used by emergency medical responders and physicians when a heart has stopped beating. Participants from the Madison Fire Department are certified emergency medical technicians (EMTs) or paramedics who receive background checks as part of employment as sworn public safety personnel.

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More than 350,000 Americans each year suffer 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. “Studies have shown time and time again that the two major determinates of survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest are immediate bystander chest compressions and prompt defibrillation,” said City of Madison Fire Department Medical Director Michael Lohmeier. “This program significantly increases the opportunity and access to both of those life-saving interventions, and therefore has the opportunity to positively impact survival rates in the City of Madison. We are excited to see these results become a reality.”

The effort will gather important data from the City of Madison’s pilot program, and will 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 assist with programmatic evaluation for potential expansion to additional communities. The pilot program runs through December 2018.

“Our firefighters feel a great responsibility to the community that we serve, and we are excited to now be able to make our members available to those suffering from cardiac arrest, both on-duty and now off-duty as well, 24-hours a day,” said Mahlon Mitchell, President of International Association of Fire Fighters Local 311. “We look forward to utilizing the Verified Responder program and are hopeful that we can make a significant impact to those in need of help.”

Access to the PulsePoint app has been funded by the UnityPoint Health-Meriter Foundation since its launch in Madison and Dane County in 2015. There are 26,000 PulsePoint users locally. The app is now in more than 2,500 communities in 35 states with more than 1,000,000 users nationwide.

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
Cynthia Schuster (Public Information Officer), (608) 261-5539,

Source: City of Madison Press Release

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Dane Co Incident Map

February 6, 2015 | by

Dane County Community Partners to Introduce Life-Saving Program

App Alerts Bystanders to CPR need


Leah Huibregtse
Sr. Communications Strategist, Meriter–UnityPoint Health
Work: (608) 417-5685; Cell (608) 516-2256

(MADISON, Wis.) – Meriter – UnityPoint Health, City of Madison Fire and Dane County EMS are proud to introduce the community to PulsePoint, a mobile app to help keep your heart beating in an emergency.

“Effective CPR given right after sudden cardiac arrest can significantly increase a victim’s chance of survival,” said Dr. Joseph Bellissimo, Cardiologist at Meriter – UnityPoint Health, which is funding PulsePoint through the Meriter Foundation. “We are thrilled that we are part of the team that’s bringing PulsePoint to our community.”

“PulsePoint is the result of the hard work and collaboration of a number of organizations in Dane County,” said Joe Parisi, Dane County Executive. “We know that people in our community are willing to help and this program connects them directly to those who need it most.”

Connected with the Dane County 911 Center, the PulsePoint app alerts CPR-trained bystanders when a sudden cardiac arrest occurs in a safe public place within their immediate vicinity. Users will be able to quickly find the victim and begin CPR immediately rather than idly waiting for EMS to arrive. The app also gives detailed instructions and locations of nearby automatic external defibrillators (AEDs).

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“We know that PulsePoint has saved lives elsewhere, and I am confident it will be successful here, too. The City is pleased to collaborate with Meriter-UnityPoint Health, Dane County EMS and the 911 Center in this project. This is a great success for the public we serve,” said Madison Mayor Paul Soglin.

“When it comes to cardiac arrest, every second counts. Every minute a person waits for help, their chances of survival decrease by as much as 10 percent,” said Madison Fire Chief Steven Davis. “We are always looking for new and innovative means to improve survival from cardiac arrest, and we are all looking forward to the potential success of this technology.”

PulsePoint is not limited to emergency responders or those with official CPR certification. It can be used by anyone who has been trained in CPR. Those looking for a CPR training course or more information on PulsePoint should visit

Download Source: Dane County Press Release (PDF)

Related: WISC-TV (CBS) News Story

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