Partnership Looks to Increase Cardiac Arrest Survival Rates

The International Association of Fire Chiefs and the PulsePoint Foundation join forces to highlight a mobile app that they hope will save lives.

Because 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside a hospital setting in the United States each year, the International Association of Fire Chiefs is partnering with the PulsePoint Foundation to bring attention to a mobile app—PulsePoint—that reduces collapse-to-CPR times by connecting CPR-trained citizens and off-duty professional rescuers with people experiencing cardiac arrest.

The app links directly in to local emergency communication centers. When an incident requiring CPR and an 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.

IAFC CEO and Executive Director Mark Light, CAE, called the partnership “a natural fit” and said the app has the potential to save countless lives. “I think it’s a prime example of two nonprofit organizations coming together to put out a product that is mutually beneficial,” he said. “To me, that’s a win-win situation.”

Aside from promoting use of the app, the partnership is also focused on developing strategies for using public safety data in new and innovative ways. App users will find that they have access to information about past and ongoing emergencies in the community. Light said PulsePoint also gives fire departments the ability to improve their training programs and make better use of their resources. “More importantly, [PulsePoint] gives us the ability to look at how we can use other technology for all emergency responses,” he said.

IAFC will highlight this partnership at the Fire-Rescue International, its annual conference and expo, which is taking place July 26-29. The conference will feature a PulsePoint booth and a keynote speech by PulsePoint Foundation President Richard Price. A former fire chief, he created the app after being inspired by his personal experience of being unaware of a cardiac arrest victim who had collapsed nearby.

Through this partnership, PulsePoint gains the credibility and global reach of an international association with a presence in 30 countries. For IAFC, in addition to staying informed of emerging digital trends, the partnership allows the organization to champion pioneering technology and share it with its members.

“Our members get so hung up on the day-to-day delivery of fire and EMS services. They often don’t have a chance to really step back and look at what’s out there and what’s coming,” Light said. “We try very hard to operate by the association mantra of ‘giving our members what they need before they know they need it.’ I think this is one of those cases.”

PulsePoint, an app designed to assist in CPR episodes. (Handout photo)

Thorne McFarlane

By Thorne McFarlane

Thorne is an assistant editor for Associations Now and a literature buff who loves a great story. Have something interesting to share? Send it his way. MORE

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