App Makes Bystanders Key in Cardiac Arrest Survival

Firehouse Magazine LogoCitizens in a growing number of cities around the U.S. are now getting alerted when there’s an opportunity to perform bystander CPR, thanks to the PulsePoint phone app.

The free app, which notifies trained citizens of nearby cardiac emergencies and the location of the nearest AED, was originally developed and tested by the San Ramon Valley (Calif.) Fire Protection District. It works by connecting a participating agency’s dispatch data into the PulsePoint service so that citizen alerts go out simultaneously with the dispatch of local fire and EMS resources. (Citizen alerts only go out for cardiac emergencies in public places, not to private addresses.) The app shows the victim and the nearby AEDs on a map, in context to the recipient of the alert.

The app has had several updates and releases since it first launched.“The app is in a continuous update cycle,” said Price, thanks to time donated by professional developers at Workday, Inc. “We’re working on a major new version right now.”

In February, after the program had been running locally in San Ramon for over a year, the PulsePoint Foundation opened it up to other agencies. It has quickly spread in California and nationally.

“By the end of the month we expect it to be in more than 100 cities,” said San Ramon Valley Fire Chief Richard Price, who is also the president of the PulsePoint foundation.

Read the full article by Heather Caspi at Firehouse.com.

EMS: There’s an App For That!

Firehouse MagazineFrom Page 42 of Firehouse Magazine this month (March, 2012).

One of the most profound uses of an app I have seen comes from the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District in San Ramon, CA. In January 2011, the district released an app for the iPhone and other phones that lets any citizen provide life-saving assistance to victims of sudden cardiac arrest. A citizen who is trained in CPR and who has downloaded the app is sent a notification that a cardiac arrest is occurring in the community so that citizen can provide CPR until the fire department arrives. If the cardiac arrest is in a public place, a map shows the location of the closest automated external defibrillator (AED) and where it can be found in the building, such as “mounted on wall on second floor outside main gym entrance.” A setting on that app lets you choose notifications, including fires, and a map shows you exactly where emergencies are occurring. Through its foundation, the district makes the app free to other fire departments to install in their communities.

Read the rest of this article by Chief Gary Ludwig on Firehouse.com.