The City of West Sacramento released a free smartphone app today that alerts CPR-trained users of when someone nearby is in cardiac arrest.
The app called Pulsepoint notifies users of when a call was made to an emergency dispatch. From there, they can choose to respond to the location.
Rebecca Ramirez, division chief of operations for the West Sacramento Fire Department, was assigned to do research on the app to determine its value. She says it works like an Amber Alert for cardiac arrests.
The app offers hands-only CPR demonstrations online, which takes minutes, for people not willing to take a full course.
“Doing something is always better than doing nothing," Ramirez says. "Just giving compressions only to somebody will increase their chances of survival in cardiac arrest dramatically."
Pulsepoint also offers users locations of nearby defibrillators and fires in surrounding areas.
The Yolo County Emergency Medical Services Agency paid $18,000 altogether for both the initial and yearly fee for the app. Ramirez says the agency will fund the app for as long as it continues to work.
Fire Chief for West Sac Fire John Heilmann says the app goes hand-in-hand with emergency services.
“When a citizen dials 911 and reports that there’s somebody in cardiac arrest, dispatch center automatically dispatches emergency services as well as activates the pulsepoint application," Heilmann says. "But it’s always a good thing to make sure those emergency responders have been notified.”