PulsePoint allows users to easily access CPR-trained citizens in case of a crisis. | Credit: Paul Wellman File

The City of Santa Barbara already boasts a 50 percent cardiac arrest save rate, one of the best in the United States. With the fire department now adopting PulsePoint, that figure will rise even higher.

“PulsePoint Respond is a free-to-download mobile app that empowers everyday citizens to provide life-saving assistance to victims of sudden cardiac arrest,” explained firefighter James Heidlebaugh and Susan Petrovich, president of Santa Barbara Firefighters Alliance, in a press statement. PulsePoint subscribers trained in CPR are alerted if someone nearby is having a heart attack and needs help. The notice goes out as firefighters and paramedics are dispatched. The app also directs potential citizen rescuers to the location of the closest automated external defibrillator (AED). 

Subscribers not trained in CPR can still follow the fire department’s 9-1-1 callouts and be warned about significant public safety threats, like fires and flooding. PulsePoint AED, a companion app, allows offices and businesses to broadcast the location of their defibrillator, if they have one. “The community is encouraged to help build the registry by using PulsePoint AED to identify the location of an AED, including a photo,” the statement reads. “This information is then forwarded to the fire department to verify the location.” “We look forward to partnering with the community to increase bystander involvement in life-threatening medical calls by increasing the use of citizen CPR and AED use,” said Fire Chief Eric Nickel. “PulsePoint keeps the community informed, in real time, of all emergency activities.” In 2018, the fire department responded to 10,340 incidents, including 404 heart attacks.


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