Rockford, Illinois News

City announces 911-connected mobile app

ROCKFORD — The City of Rockford, Winnebago County, Rockford Fire Department, Mercyhealth, OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center and SwedishAmerican on Thursday announced the launch of the new cardiac-related mobile app, PulsePoint.

PulsePoint is a free app that alerts CPR-trained citizens of cardiac events in their vicinity so they may administer aid. Officials say it helps build a comprehensive Automated External Defibrillator (AED) registry and informs the community of emergency activity in real time.

PulsePoint empowers everyday citizens to provide life‐saving assistance to victims of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Citizens who are CPR trained and willing to assist in an emergency can subscribe to PulsePoint Respond. If a cardiac emergency is in a public place, the location-aware application will alert users in the vicinity of the need for CPR simultaneous with the dispatch of advanced medical care. The application also directs these potential rescuers to the exact location of the closest AED.

The companion app, PulsePoint AED, allows users 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. Users 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 can be made available to dispatchers and anyone using the PulsePoint app.

“With PulsePoint we hope to increase bystander involvement in time-sensitive medical calls by increasing the use of CPR and AEDs,” Rockford Fire Chief Derek Bergsten 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.”

Throughout the year, the Rockford Fire Department responds to nearly 30,000 incidents, including more than 200 cardiac arrest events.

“In addition to nearby ‘CPR-needed’ notifications, PulsePoint subscribers can follow their local fire department and choose to be notified of significant events that may impact their family. These informational notifications provide an early and automatic heads-up to local threats such as large fires, flooding and utility emergencies,“ PulsePoint Foundation President Richard Price said. “Improving situational awareness with PulsePoint can help build safer, stronger, and more resilient communities.”

The latest AHA guidelines, published in Circulation, state that such community programs could increase bystander CPR to the roughly 350,000 cardiac arrests that happen outside the hospital each year.

The PulsePoint Foundation is California-based nonprofit.

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