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TVF&R

Posted on: September 16, 2015

PulsePoint Now Available to all 562,998 Citizens in Washington County

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All fire agencies in Washington County are now using the PulsePoint smartphone application to alert citizens who can help save a life with hands-only CPR.

The free PulsePoint app notifies citizens of a cardiac arrest patient nearby, directs them to the location, and guides them to perform hands-only CPR.

The agencies supporting this effort include Hillsboro Fire Department, Forest Grove Fire & Rescue, Cornelius Fire & Rescue, Washington County Fire District #2, and Gaston Fire & Rescue. Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue has been using the app for more than two years with great success.

With PulsePoint now available in Washington, Clackamas, Multnomah, and Clark counties, more than 2 million people can access the app and see information about real-time incidents happening in their community.

Citizens who are willing to take part need to know how to perform hands-only CPR or traditional CPR, download the PulsePoint app from www.pulsepoint.org, and respond to the alerted incidents. They will only be notified of cardiac incidents in public places, not in private homes.

Additionally, the PulsePoint app can show responders the nearest public-accessible Automated External Defibrillator. The mobile app operates in real time and shows the citizen responder his/her location relative to the incident along with the address off the nearest AED. There is no obligation to respond.

As many as 300 sudden cardiac arrest calls happen each year in Washington County. CPR can double or triple a victim's chance of survival, but only 32 percent get bystander help.

Every minute CPR is delayed, the chance of survival decreases by 10 percent. Though local patients’ odds of survival are among the best in the nation, fire departments need the community's help to save more lives.

How does PulsePoint allow me to help?
Following a call to 911, the app uses sophisticated location-based services to alert citizens of the need for CPR in a public place.

What other information does the PulsePoint App provide?
The PulsePoint app also provides a virtual window into fire departments’ activity. Users can view active incidents and dispatched units, and pinpoint incident location on an interactive map. Users also can choose to be notified of incidents by type and monitor emergency radio traffic via this modern version of the traditional fire scanner.

The app seeks subscribers who are “CPR Trained.” Does that mean I have to take a CPR class or be certified in CPR?
In 2008, the American Heart Association announced that performing Hands-Only CPR (no mouth-to-mouth breathing) can help sustain an adult in cardiac arrest until paramedics arrive. Research shows that individuals still have ample air in the lungs and blood, and Hands-Only CPR keeps oxygenated blood flowing to the brain, heart, and other organs until emergency responders arrive and take over.

I have heard a lot about AEDs. Do they really make a difference?
For each minute that passes without defibrillation, a sudden cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival decreases by 10 percent. The most common cardiac arrest has the potential to be converted by an electrical shock delivered by an AED. Firefighter EMTs/Paramedics respond with advanced life support drugs and a defibrillator to every medical call. Public access AEDs are simple and easy to use and can administer lifesaving shock even before emergency responders arrive. If your business has an AED that can be used by the public, ensure it is in the PulsePoint database by emailing AED@tvfr.com.

If I download the PulsePoint app, am I required to respond?
There is no requirement to respond. However, statistics show that only about 25 percent of cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR and defibrillation. Over 300,000 people die every year from sudden cardiac arrest. The goal of the app is to engage the community so more lives can be saved.

Does the company that makes the app store data or information about me?
No personal information is collected or stored. The devices are known by an anonymous token ID (for the notification/settings) if users opt-in to notifications. Current device location may be known, but location history is not stored. Users have the option of providing an email address on a survey response.

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