After receiving the 2012 “Heart of Gold” award from Jill DiGiacomo, Executive Director for the American Heart Association, Fire Chief and PulsePoint President Richard Price delivered these comments on Saturday, June 2, 2012 at the Wente Vineyards Gala in Livermore, California.
I would also like to congratulate Dr. Khan, my co-honoree this evening, for his well-deserved recognition.
I would like to thank my wonderful wife Lisa, who runs our household everyday, so that I can be the community’s 24/7 Fire Chief, while still squeezing in a little foundation work each evening – and occasional weekend.
My beautiful 9-year old daughter Halle is here tonight. At $500 a plate, I told her she would probably be the only kid here, and that looks to be true. I’m certain that this is the first time she has been served Filet Mignon and a glass Cabernet Sauvignon. Hang in there little girl, we’re almost done. And I’m surrounded tonight with more of my family and friends including my parents, Richard and Sallie Price.
1,000 Americans die every day from Sudden Cardiac Arrest, making it the leading cause of death in the U.S. But many of these deaths could be prevented if CPR was initiated, and an AED was deployed, in the first few minutes after an arrest. Over the past 50 years, 300M people have been trained in CPR, yet today, CPR is only performed in about 25% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest cases. And publicly available AED’s, the ones you see in airports, schools and other places of assembly, are retrieved and used only 1% or 2% of the time when available – primarily because lay rescuers don’t think about them, and don’t know where to find them.
Without intervention, a cardiac arrest victim has only about 10 minutes to live. But as we have heard tonight CPR suspends time, essentially stopping that 10-minute clock, and sustains life until more advanced care can arrive. So after 10 minutes you have no chance of survival; and brain damage begins several minutes before that. To put that into context consider the paramedic response time, right now, to this facility is about eight minutes. Not much room for error. This excruciatingly short window of opportunity is exactly why most people do not survive a sudden cardiac arrest. Today, more than ever, citizens helping citizens is the only way for the Chain of Survival to truly work. Local government response times are not improving in this economy – if anything they are getting worse.
Instead of relying on fate to place a CPR-trained citizen in the exact location needed at the exact time needed, the PulsePoint app is used to dispatch nearby CPR-trained citizens simultaneously with the dispatch of local paramedics, so CPR can begin immediately. The app also directs these citizens, with a live map, to the nearest AED.
In the Greater Bay Area we have some of the finest cardiac care facilities in the world. But if patients arrive at these hospitals already dead, our best doctors and our latest procedures have no opportunity to make any difference at all. So therein lies the promise of the PulsePoint App – to deliver patients that are still alive, so they can benefit from all the innovation and interventions that are available to cardiac patients today.
The PulsePoint Foundation has a talented and diverse board of directors drawn from public safety, tech, medicine and finance. It includes Dave Duffield from Workday who’s engineering team built the enterprise-class PulsePoint service for the foundation; Dr. Ben Bobrow, Medical Director for the State of Arizona who is also the Chair of the American Heart Association Basic Life Support Subcommittee; and Don Ledoux, with Summit Financial, who is here tonight representing the PulsePoint board.
The mission of the foundation is to extend the reach of the app around the globe and to do that at no cost to the implementing fire or EMS agency. If you would like to join us in this mission please reach out to me. We need your help.
Events like this are a tremendous amount of work and require the combined efforts of many people, including many volunteers. This is a very special night for my family and I, and we thank everyone that had a hand in bringing us together for this important cause. I believe the PulsePoint app represents a revolutionary step forward in cardiac arrest survival and I’m thrilled to be here tonight sharing that vision with an audience that also holds a very strong commitment to that goal.