Mayor Chris Beutler today announced the local launch of PulsePoint, a life-saving smartphone application that connects residents trained in CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) with those who suffer sudden cardiac arrest in public places. PulsePoint is used in over 800 cities in the U.S., but Lincoln is the first to implement it not only in Nebraska, but in the four-state area, which includes Iowa, Kansas and Missouri.
"In sudden cardiac arrest, we know that time makes a huge difference - the sooner a person receives CPR, the greater their chances of survival and recovery," Mayor Beutler said. "That's why we are pleased to bring this life-saving application to our community. I appreciate the creativity, passion and hard work of our public safety personnel and the PulsePoint Foundation in making this a reality for Lincoln."
The free PulsePoint application does not require setting up an account or providing an email address or other personal information. PulsePoint is connected to the 911 Center's dispatching system, and those who download the app will receive an alert from PulsePoint if a sudden cardiac arrest occurs in a public place within a quarter-mile of their location. PulsePoint will provide those able and willing to respond with directions. PulsePoint will also display the location of the nearest AED (automated external defibrillator), and it allows users to add AED locations that may not be listed.
Interim Fire Chief Tim Linke said Lincoln Fire and Rescue (LFR) responds to about 300 cardiac arrest incidents in Lincoln every year. "PulsePoint is designed to connect potential rescuers to victims in cardiac arrest in the crucial minutes before the first responders arrive, when life hangs in the balance and every moment counts," Linke said. "PulsePoint is saving lives around the country, and I hope our example will encourage other agencies in the Midwest to explore its potential."
Linke said even those who are not trained in CPR can use the app. PulsePoint also provides a real-time display of all LFR dispatches, and residents can receive alerts about fires, hazardous materials incidents, injury traffic crashes and other events. PulsePoint also incorporates a feed of the audio from Lincoln's public safety radio communications system. "PulsePoint is a great way for citizens to be forewarned of potential traffic snarls caused by emergency responses," Linke said. "It also enables them to see in real-time what their LFR personnel deal with around the clock."
Linke said about 750 people in Lincoln are now using PulsePoint, and the goal is to have 5,000 users in Lincoln in the first year. More information on PulsePoint is available at pulsepoint.org. More information on LFR is available at fire.lincoln.ne.gov.