Each year, approximately 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside a hospital setting in the United States. According to the American Heart Association, nearly 90 percent of these events prove fatal, and the chance of survival decreases by 10 percent with every passing minute without CPR.
Though survival rates in the Pacific Northwest exceed the national average, a coalition of professional first responders, clinicians, researchers and a leading medical equipment manufacturer aim to make the region the frontrunner in cardiac arrest response and survival.
The PulsePoint Foundation, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, International Association of Firefighters Local 1660 and automated external defibrillator (AED) manufacturer Philips Healthcare have partnered to launch the Verified Responder Pilot Program that will activate off-duty professional firefighters to respond to cardiac arrest calls in public and private settings. Participating professional firefighters are also certified emergency medical technicians or paramedics who receive background checks in the state of Oregon.
Philips Healthcare is loaning every participating firefighter an AED so that if they respond, they can employ the same technology that is used by emergency medical responders and physicians to restart a heart that has stopped beating. The effort will gather important data from the pilot and combine it with existing technology and clinical insights to inform future lifesaving strategies and products. During the pilot, King County EMS (Wash.) will be assisting in programmatic evaluation for potential expansion to additional communities. King County currently leads the nation in survival rates for cardiac arrest victims.
Media are invited to learn more:
What: Unveiling of PulsePoint Verified Responder Pilot Program and AED distribution
When: Tuesday, February 14, at 10 a.m. (February is American Heart Month)
Where: TVF&R Training Facility, 20665 SW Blanton Street, Aloha 97078
Activities: Unpacking, distribution of Philips defibrillator to professional firefighters
Interviews with emergency medical professionals and cardiac arrest survivors
Demonstration of PulsePoint Verified Responder technology
Video Clips: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/u4c7uwi620s84ml/AACV3DErRelsGOqWZmFgygtja?dl=0