Western Fire Chiefs Association, International Association of Fire Chiefs and PulsePoint Foundation Join Forces to Improve Cardiac Arrest Response

Published: 8/23/2017
Author: Doug Schrage, WFCA President

In July, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), Western Fire Chiefs Association (WFCA), and PulsePoint Foundation (PulsePoint) announced their global strategic partnership to increase cardiac arrest survival rates. This collaboration aims to reinforce the use of mobile phones and apps to connect nearby CPR-trained citizens and off-duty professional responders with people in cardiac arrest.


Annually, approximately 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside a hospital setting in the United States. Nearly 90 percent of these events prove fatal, and the chance of survival decreases by 10 percent with every passing minute without CPR. PulsePoint provides an effective and easy-to-use tool that increases the size of the network available for cardiac arrest response. In June, a PulsePoint notification saved a man's life in Maryland. 


How the PulsePoint App Works

The PulsePoint app connects directly to local emergency communication centers. When an incident requiring CPR and an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) is reported, nearby citizens and off-duty responders who carry the app receive a notification of the emergency simultaneously with traditional first responders. PulsePoint reduces collapse-to-CPR times by increasing awareness of cardiac arrest events beyond a traditional “witnessed” area. The system also aims to reduce collapse-to-defibrillation times through augmented awareness of AED locations.


Oregon Agency Uses App to Improve Safety, Health

One of the first agencies to deploy PulsePoint for citizen responders is Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue (TVF&R) in Oregon.  In use by its firefighters for more than four years, TVF&R has seen firsthand how the app saves lives. PulsePoint Foundation recently awarded TVF&R the 2017 System of the Year award for its work to raise awareness of the app and make local communities safer. To date, TVF&R has registered 22,600 local responders and compiled an accurate location registry for 478 AEDs. Additionally, TVF&R is the first agency to pilot Verified Responder, the professional version of the app. Testing began in early 2017 with 300 of TVF&R’s firefighters using the new app. Their insight and feedback around data use and reporting is integral to PulsePoint’s pioneering work.

Getting Started with PulsePoint

Download the FREE PulsePoint app on iTunes and Google Play. Learn more at pulsepoint.org or join the conversation at Facebook and Twitter. See how PulsePoint empowers everyday citizens to help save lives.


Doug Schrage

President, Western Fire Chiefs Association

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