When an airplane passenger is in physical distress, the flight attendant calls through the speakers asking if medical professionals are on board. It’s a simple action that can make a huge difference. What if we could mimic this same outreach, 10,000 feet below, everyday on the ground?
That’s exactly what the smart phone app PulsePoint (for download here) makes possible, according to Emergency Management. Using the gadgets we all carry every day, municipalities that use the free mobile service are able to send out alerts to CPR-certified citizens who are nearby someone in need. In many cases, there are just a few minutes between life and death, so every second counts. By quickening response times, this app can help save lives — before an ambulance is even in sight.
PulsePoint doesn’t replace dispatched responders, but as fast as ambulances and emergency medical technicians try to arrive, they’re often not quick enough. Once 9-1-1 is dialed and the available crew is actually with the patient, it can be too late – making those that can arrive quicker a vital resource.
San Jose became the first area city to use PulsePoint in 2012 — the app’s founder and CEO, Richard Price, is from the area, having worked as an ex-fire chief of the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District. Since then, it’s caught on thanks to support from a local hospital and the results it provides. A local hospital is also planning a public registry of automated defibrillators through a new, related app, PulsePoint AED.
With decreasing local budgets for emergency response, increasing populations and traffic congestion, the demand for innovations like PulsePoint is greater than ever. By alerting off-duty first responders, medical professionals, and other CPR certified individuals of a nearby need, PulsePoint turns them into valuable lifesavers, all with the tap of a phone, making the app early — and effective — when time means everything.