There’s a phone app that may save your life or show you where someone is to save their life. It’s called PulsePoint, and the Overland Park Fire Department recently launched its services and wants you to download the app.
You’re at a park, maybe walking your dog or jogging, when unexpectedly you go into sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Your heart stops pumping blood to your brain and vital organs and, within seconds, you lose conscious and have no pulse.
A bystander, though, knows CPR and starts chest compressions while someone calls 911. Your chance of surviving SCA now drastically goes up.
In those crucial minutes, CPR can save lives. That’s why the Overland Park Fire Department starting using PulsePoint. The app directs people who know CPR to cardiac emergencies in their area so they can begin CPR until help arrives.
A 911 operator activates the PulsePoint app simultaneously with local fire and emergency medical services (EMS) dispatch. The app also gives locations of nearby automated external defibrillators (AEDs).
Overland Park Fire Department joins several Kansas City-region fire departments using the app. Jason Green, the EMS chief with the Overland Park Fire Department, said someone is three times more likely to survive SCA if a bystander gives CPR prior to emergency services arriving on scene.
“If a bystander intervenes, someone can have up to a 55 percent survival rate compared to 18 percent without CPR and/or AED intervention,” Green said.
According to the American Heart Association, an estimated 350,000 Americans have cardiac arrests each year and fewer than 10 percent of them survive.
“We have robust cardiac arrest protocols. We are provided with great resources and training, but no matter all we do, we are always looking at ways to improve survival rates,” Green said. “Citizen involvement is critical to improving SCA survival rates.”
You can download the app through Apple or Google Play stores. Once downloaded, you’ll want to select you are CPR certified. If you don’t know CPR, Overland Park Fire Department offers free training. Contact Tricia Roberts at 913-895-8403 for more information.