The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the PulsePoint Foundation (PulsePoint) today announced a strategic partnership to reinforce the use of mobile phones and apps to connect nearby CPR-trained citizens and off-duty professional rescuers with people in cardiac arrest. The collaboration also endeavors to develop strategies for utilizing public safety data in new and innovative ways. The alliance will be highlighted at Fire-Rescue International, the annual conference and expo of the IAFC being held in Charlotte, NC, July 26-29, 2017.
The PulsePoint app connects directly to local emergency communication centers. When an incident requiring CPR and an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) is reported, nearby citizens and off-duty responders who carry the app receive a notification of the emergency simultaneously with traditional first responders. PulsePoint reduces collapse-to-CPR times by increasing awareness of cardiac arrest events beyond a traditional “witnessed” area. The system also aims to reduce collapse-to-defibrillation times through augmented awareness of AED locations.
“As a past fire chief and longtime member of the IAFC, I’m very familiar with the leadership this organization provides the industry,” said Richard Price, President of the California-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit PulsePoint Foundation. “PulsePoint is using mobile technology to save lives and is pioneering uses of public safety data that until recently were unimaginable. This partnership will explore future data uses and develop strategies to help make public safety agencies more effective and impactful in their communities.”
Each year, approximately 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside a hospital setting in the United States. Nearly 90 percent of these events prove fatal, and the chance of survival decreases by ten percent with every passing minute without CPR.
“The IAFC considers the deployment of PulsePoint to be a best practice in fire and EMS and we look forward to helping our member agencies implement the technology. Recognizing the excruciatingly short window of opportunity to intervene during cardiac arrest, we need to reinforce the importance of improving the utilization of CPR-trained community members and off-duty personnel,” said John Sinclair, President of the IAFC and Fire Chief of Kittitas Valley (Wash.) Fire and Rescue.
Thomas Jenkins, IAFC First Vice President and Fire Chief of Rogers (Ark.) Fire Department, emphasized the importance of PulsePoint to his community: “In Rogers, we have seen PulsePoint bring together the best of citizenship, technology, and medical care to save lives from cardiac arrest.”
“In addition to its flagship capability of summoning CPR assistance, the PulsePoint app displays other emergency activity occurring in the community. For on duty crews this can significantly improve situational awareness and confirm the real-time communication center connection to the public,” said Deputy Chief Billy Goldfeder, International Director of the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section. “This makes the app much more interesting and engaging for citizens and off-duty personnel–ultimately increasing the size of the network available for cardiac arrest response.”
As part of the IAFC collaboration, PulsePoint has also partnered with the Western Fire Chiefs Association (WFCA) to increase awareness of the application and its lifesaving benefits. According to Mike Duyck, WFCA Director and Fire Chief of Tualatin Valley (Ore.) Fire & Rescue. “TVF&R was the first fire department in Oregon to launch the PulsePoint app for citizen responders and over the past four years we have witnessed firsthand its ability to save lives. We are now the first agency to pilot the professional version of the app, Verified Responder, which based on results to date, may mark the beginning of a national initiative with the help of the IAFC. Having lost my own father from sudden cardiac arrest, I am personally and professionally committed to sparing other families from potential heartbreak.”