ASHI and MEDIC First Aid Blog

July 31, 2015

Smartphone App Alerts Local Heroes (Video)

911 Dispatchers and bystanders trained in CPR are a powerful, lifesaving combination. A smartphone app brings them together to provide emergency care assistance and the success stories show just how effective they can be.

National Public Radio reports on the recent success of PulsePoint and how the app helped save a life in Spokane, WA:

“In certain Northwest cities now, 911 dispatch sends out mobile phone alerts to citizen responders nearby when a person requires cardiopulmonary resuscitation in a public place,” the article explains.

As the creators of PulsePoint put it:

“With PulsePoint, your dispatch system immediately alerts CPR-trained bystanders about a nearby sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) event through the free PulsePoint Respond mobile app, and lets them know the location of the closest AED.”

They’ve even created the PulsePoint AED app to give Good Samaritans a chance to familiarize themselves with, and upload information on, the locations of their community AEDs:

“When CPR-trained bystanders receive an alert from PulsePoint Respond, it tells them not only where an SCA event is happening, but also where they can find the nearest AED. But often, data on AED locations can be missing, inaccurate, or simply not detailed enough to make the devices easy to find in an emergency. That’s where the PulsePoint AED app comes in.

With the free PulsePoint AED app, citizens can help even before a life is in danger, by easily identifying public access AEDs throughout your community. Users place the AED location on a map, add business and descriptor information and submit photos of the AED in context of its environment.”

In the Spokane, WA story, when an infant stopped breathing at a local dance shop, volunteer EMT Jeff Olson was working at his regular day job and saw the alert. Olson realized the ballet shop was very close by, so he ran to the shop and performed rescue breathing on the child until EMS arrived. And, in this case, EMS needed that citizen support:

“[Spokane Fire Department Assistant Chief Brian] Schaeffer said in the case of baby Nolan, the nearest fire engine was on another call. So it took more than five minutes for medics to arrive. Citizen responder Jeff Olson and the PulsePoint app got credit for saving baby Nolan's life.”

Emergency communications centers throughout the Pacific Northwest are working with PulsePoint and partner Physio-Control to bring this service to their locations.

CPR instructors: if your local emergency communications center is participating in this new alert system, be sure to tell your newly trained students how they can put those skills to use for the good of their communities. Visit for all the details.

Inspired to be a part of this lifesaving network? It all starts with your CPR certification. Find a class in your area today.




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