This week’s app—PulsePoint—comes recommended by my cousin Art, a firefighter/paramedic for L.A. City Fire Department in South Central Los Angeles. Here’s Art:
PulsePoint is a mobile app that attempts to limit the time between a sudden cardiac event and life-saving intervention. These few precious minutes can literally mean the difference between life and death—and as they say in the medical field, “time is muscle.” PulsePoint successfully accomplishes its goal by geolocating the volunteered responder, the medical emergency and the closest AED to perform a cardioversion if necessary.
Individuals who are licensed EMTs can submit a request through the PulsePoint website to become an active community volunteer. The PulsePoint app will notify the volunteer responder (if within walking distance) of a nearby cardiac event through a unique tone. The app will then map the responder to the individual and provide valuable information as to where the closest AED is located. PulsePoint will list all companies responding to your incident, so you know exactly who is coming while you (on the scene) continue to perform basic life-saving measures. These BLS measures can have the most dramatic effect in a positive outcome with an individual in sudden cardiac arrest.
As a professional firefighter paramedic in one of the largest and busiest fire departments in the world, I’m very impressed with how accurate and timely PulsePoint’s dispatch data is. As a professional provider, it’s a great tool for increasing situational awareness by having incident and resource information right at my finger tips. Any individual who downloads PulsePoint to his or her mobile device has the ability to follow a number of Fire Department dispatch agencies throughout the country. The app allows you to filter between medical, traffic, structure fire, confirmed structure fire calls, and much more. It’s a great way to get up-to-date, real-time news on active incidents occurring in your immediate area. The app also has a toggle on/off radio so you can listen to what’s going down as well.
At work I wear a Pebble Smartwatch, another great tool in helping me triage notifications from my phone when my hands are full. I have the PulsePoint notifications sent directly to my watch. There have been a number of times when I’ve received a notification from PulsePoint to my watch 30 seconds prior to hearing the station tones. This has allowed me to be fully suited up at the time of the alarm and to respond that much faster.
I feel as if I’m just scratching the surface here. If you’re not quite ready to become the hero PulsePoint knows you can be, take a look at their website, where you can download the app for Android and iOS. Who knows, maybe PulsePoint has the potential to unlock the superhero in all of us!
Keep in mind, this app is not JUST for professional responders. Any person who has CPR training and knowledge is welcome to “opt in”! It’s a tremendous “crowd sourcing” app that helps narrow the time gap between the beginning of a bad cardiac event and the arrival of paramedics and professional responders.
(Not all fire departments have the ability to be involved with PulsePoint yet.)
To Art! And all other traveling responders. Be well. And be ready!