Pulse Point logoI am excited to introduce a project that the MFD is supporting in conjunction with the Dane County EMS office and funded by Meriter Hospital. The project is called Dane PulsePoint. The purpose is to save more lives by increasing the rates of bystander chest compressions and Automated External Defibrillators (AED) use in cases of sudden cardiac arrest. This is accomplished through the use of a new mobile phone app called PulsePoint Respond and is intended to engage CPR-trained* citizens within the community.

The PulsePoint app is tied into the Dane County 911 Center. It's set up to simultaneously alert any phones that have the app installed at the same time that emergency response units are dispatched to a suspected cardiac arrest. These alerts are sent for cases of cardiac arrest in public locations, and only to those phones that are located within ¼ mile of the incident. All known dangerous situations (gunshots, stabbings, hangings, drug overdose, electrocutions, etc.) are suppressed from public notification.

It is a completely anonymous arrangement. It knows where the phone is located; however, it does not know to whom the phone belongs. When an alert is sent, the app provides a "CPR needed" notification on the phone and asks if you would like to respond. If you choose to accept, it remains anonymous and then provides you with a GPS-guided map from your location to the location of the patient. It also provides a GPS-guided map to the closest AED (if the AED has been logged into the system). It is completely voluntary, and it does not know whether or not you chose to respond.

If we are able to engage CPR-trained* citizens within the community and increase the rates of bystander chest compressions, we will effectively have the potential to increase the rates of survival from sudden cardiac arrest within our city.  If you have any questions, feel free to stop by your local fire station and ask your responders.
There is also a secondary application called PulsePoint AED. This is a crowd-sourcing app that allows anyone to add the location of an AED to the registry through the use of a mobile phone, incorporating GPS accuracy, location descriptions, and photos. More information about this functionality will be coming out in the future.

The app is available now for all to download during the "soft-launch" period this week. It is available for both Apple and Android devices and is free. After downloading the app, you may go into "Settings" and select "CPR notifications". This is the heart of the app, and the reason that it is being made available. It will now alert you of a public cardiac arrest within ¼ mile of your location anywhere in the world where the local 911 center is covered by PulsePoint. There are additional agencies being added every week, and it is presently in places such as LA County, Las Vegas, Orlando, San Diego, Cleveland, and many others.

You may also choose to "follow" up to 15 agencies to see the current activities of each department. In Dane County, we have two agencies from which to select. The first is the MFD and this will show all incidents within the City. The second agency is called "Dane County EMS and Fire" and it incorporates all of the other EMS and Fire agencies within the County. When following these agencies, if desired, you may also select additional notifications such as "Structure Fire" to receive a text message when these are assigned.

Our first responders are truly excited about this new technology.  By connecting the network of trained CPR responders* with community members who need those valuable skills, we can save many more lives. 

Resources:            1. Pulsepoint website: http://www.pulsepoint.org/ 
                              2. Pulsepoint facts and questions:    http://www.pulsepoint.org/pulsepoint-respond/#faqs
                              3. Pulsepoint PSA: http://vimeo.com/110900496

* CPR-trained can mean previous exposure to any level of CPR education, and it does not imply certification. It may be a formal class, a hands-only class, sidewalk CPR event, online video training, etc.  There are also CPR instructions provided on the app.

For more information, you can call the Madison Fire Department at 608-266-4420.


Fire Chief Steve A. Davis

This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Fire and a link back to the original post.