New Mobile App Brings Lifesaving Technology to the Region
The City of Carrollton in partnership with the North Texas Emergency Communications Center (NTECC) has launched PulsePoint Respond, a free mobile app that empowers citizens trained in CPR to help contribute to the safety and well-being of their fellow community members.
Through the app, those trained in CPR as well as off-duty firefighters, police officers, and nurses will have the opportunity to provide potentially lifesaving assistance to nearby victims of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).
“With PulsePoint we hope to increase bystander involvement in time-sensitive medical calls by increasing the use of CPR and AEDs, while also keeping the community informed, in real time, of all emergency activities,” Carrollton Fire Chief Gregg Salmi said. “It gives our residents and visitors the ability to know when a cardiac arrest is occurring close by, locate AEDs in the area, and perform potentially lifesaving CPR while our personnel respond to the scene.”
When NTECC receives a call for a cardiac emergency in a public area, the location-aware app will alert users in the vicinity of the need for CPR. This alert happens at the same time crews are dispatched. PulsePoint also directs these potential rescuers to the exact location of the closest AED. The goal of the program is to fill the critical gap between the time NTECC is notified and when the medics arrive.
“During a cardiac event, every second is crucial, so a community-based response is vital in giving the patient the best chances at survival,” Rex Redden, Carrollton Executive Director of Public Safety, said.
The American Heart Association (AHA) estimates that effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after SCA, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. AHA statistics indicate more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur each year, making it the leading cause of death in the United States. Survival rates nationally for SCA are less than 8 percent, but delivery of CPR can sustain life until paramedics arrive by maintaining vital blood flow to the heart and brain.
“Our commitment to protecting the lives of our citizens continues to ensure Carrollton’s vision to be the community that families and business want to call home, and the PulsePoint app will greatly benefit our residents and visitors,” Carrollton Mayor Kevin Falconer said. “The City is grateful for Carrollton-based manufacturing company Western Extrusions’ generous donation of $17,642 for this exciting opportunity to even further improve medical response in Carrollton and surrounding communities.”
With PulsePoint Respond, app users can stay informed of local emergency activity in real time and will hear a specific alert sound on their phone indicating a nearby cardiac incident. If able to respond, the user will be given directions, the location of the person in need, AED information, and traffic conditions. If needed, the app includes step-by-step CPR and AED instructions including a compression rate metronome that produces a steady audio beat of at least 100 compressions per minute. The app also includes multi-language support including English, French (Canada), Japanese, and Spanish.
In addition to nearby CPR-needed notifications, PulsePoint subscribers can follow their local emergencies and choose to be notified of significant events that may impact their family. App users will also be notified of nearby cardiac incidents when traveling in cities that belong to the PulsePoint program as well.
CFR has also supplied PulsePoint with the names of every firefighter in the department, enabling the system to notify verified off-duty responders, when someone nearby experiences a sudden cardiac arrest in their home or private location. Participating firefighters from CFR are certified emergency medical technicians (EMTs) or paramedics who receive background checks as part of employment as sworn public safety personnel.
PulsePoint is a 501(c)(3) public non-profit foundation using location-aware mobile devices to build applications that work with local public safety agencies to improve communications with citizens and professional emergency responders, increase civic engagement, and empower the community to help reduce the millions of annual deaths from sudden cardiac arrest.
As an added feature, the app will also direct users to download PulsePoint AED, which enables citizens to report and update AED locations so that emergency responders, including nearby citizens, can find an AED close to them when a cardiac emergency occurs. App users not yet trained in CPR and AED usage can help build the community registry by using PulsePoint AED to describe the location of an AED and add a picture. This information is then staged for local authorities to verify. After that, the AED location data is made available to dispatchers and anyone using the PulsePoint Respond app.
The implementation of the PulsePoint program interface with NTECC’s computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system has been operational since Monday, November 11. The program will benefit those in three entities NTECC serves (the cities of Carrollton, Coppell, and the Town of Addison). PulsePoint has also been implemented in other DFW cities such as Grapevine and Plano.
Both PulsePoint apps are available for free download in the app store for Android or iOS 11.0 or later. Choose North Texas ECC as the agency to follow.
CFR also offers CPR/AED classes to train citizens to save a life. Classes are offered on the first and third Saturdays of each month at Crosby Recreation Center (1610 E. Crosby Road), as well as to local businesses and schools by appointment. For more information, to register for a class, or schedule a workplace or school training, call 972-466-4901.
To learn more about the PulsePoint system and watch a video of the app in action, visit pulsepoint.org. For more information about Carrollton’s continual public safety efforts, visit cityofcarrollton.com/fire or cityofcarrollton.com/police.