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Mobile Phone Application Will Help Save Lives

The phone app is available to download for residents.

Your local fire department wants your phone to help save lives. A new, free mobile phone application called "Pulsepoint" is now available to residents.

The app includes the Alameda County Fire Department, Livermore Pleasanton Fire Department, Fremont Fire Department and Alameda Fire.

On Thursday, fire chiefs from the four departments, unveiled Pulsepoint.

"This is arguably the greatest technological innovation toward saving lives since CPR [cardiopulmonary resuscitation] was introduced," said Interim Chief Demetrious Shaffer of the Alameda County Fire Department.

"We are here to introduce Pulsepoint to the community," said Shaffer. "This is designed to support communities."

Shaffer said a public service announcement has been created for television to spread the word about the new app.

Pulsepoint is a free phone application for smart phones to engage bystanders trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR to encourage them to render aid in cases of cardiac arrest.

"Bystander CPR" is the goal of the emergency notification to get CPR trained citizens to respond to nearby cardiac arrests. The notification is only sent if the event is happening in a public place.

Shaffer says over 350 thousand people die annually from cardiac arrest and in Alameda County, bystander CPR is administered less than 25 percent of the time.

"In cases of cardiac arrest, for every minute that passes, there is a ten percent drop in survival rate," said Shaffer. "There are 300 million people trained in CPR."

According to Shaffer, Automated External Defibrillators or "AEDs" are used less than three percent of the time during these emergerncies, despite the availablity of the lifesaving tool. There are more 1200 AEDs in Alameda County with more to come.

Fire Chief Richard Price of the San Ramon Fire Department says it was not long ago when he learned someone nearby could have used his life-saving skills.

"I learned too late that someone was having a cardiac arrest right next door to me," he said. "The Pulsepoint app is used to alert nearby good Samaritans simultaneously with emergency responders."

Price says the app also notifies users of AED units nearby the emergency. The application was made possible by WorkDay, a software service company in Pleasanton.

"Thirty thousand people have already downloaded the phone application," commented Price. "Pulsepoint is available to all of Alameda County at no cost thanks to generous donations from companies like WorkDay."

Livermore Pleasanton Fire Chief Jim Miguel is encouraging everyone to get CPR trained and says CPR has been taught for 50 years in this country.

"There are hundreds of places ot get trained in addition to online options that offer CPR training," said Miguel. "For those who don't think they could give CPR, there is a new type of 'hands-only' CPR for those not comfortable with traditional CPR. Learn CPR, download the apps and make a difference in someone's life."

Download Pulsepoint by clicking here.

What do you think of the new phone application? Do you have it or are you going to download it? Tell us in the comments section below.

Autumn Johnson September 07, 2012 at 05:15 PM
@JCM: This is a very good question. When I was a police officer, I was often asked about this issue. Luckily, there are some protections in place. "Good Samaritan laws" help to protect those trying to render assistance in time of need. It does not mean to say someone may not try to sue but it is nice to know there are protections in place. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Samaritan_law
James Nelson September 07, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Crap, gotta Re-Cert. I do like the premise of this App though but like everything else this opens the door for potential Criminal Activities. Burglary, Robbery, Theft etc. It's a Noble Effort toward our fellow man however. One Tip though for those seeking CPR Certification. Don't Horse around with the Manikin's, some Instructors get Anal about this and results in getting kicked out of the class. LOL.
Rob Raistlin September 07, 2012 at 11:45 PM
@JCM- Like Autumn said there are Good Samaritan laws. Everyone should take the time to review them. Everyone should still take a CPR class. This APP should be looked at as a reminder in the moment not as a substitute. The last time I took CPR class they were getting away from the mouth blowing. If someone can keep pumping the chest alone non-stop with one pump on every "mississippi" count until paramedics arrive the chances of survival are a lot better. Some basics to remember. First of all someone needs to call 911 right away. Once someone starts CPR they need to continue. If there's anyone around, have them rotate with you on the chest pumping at least every 2 minutes. Otherwise the paramedics will have 2 patients on the scene.
Dee September 09, 2012 at 05:42 AM
I got certified last year at Los Positas, though a group i think called i.c.e solutions...my employer directed me to them. It was a great class. Small group, 7 students. We learned more than just CPR and was inexpensive .
Vernon Jones September 16, 2012 at 02:32 PM
A target for their thanks for the effort. My father saved a choking man in a resteraunt when I was a child. I never forgot that. I have been a firefighter and paramedic for over 30yrs now and helped people on and off duty. All attempts are not successful but must be made.

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