Utah County, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – When waiting for paramedics is not an option, a new app could help save lives.
Pulsepoint Respond connects people having a cardiac emergency with trained members of the public who are nearby and able to help.
Lehi City Firefighter Paramedic, Bronson Smith says crews always do their best to come quickly, with average response times between four and eight minutes, but Smith also admits that they can not always drop what they are doing.
“We could be on another call,” Smith said.
That is why for the last two years, Smith has made it his mission to bring Pulsepoint to Utah County.
The app is already popular in other parts of the country, where Smith says victims of cardiac emergencies have 40 percent higher survival rates. Now, he and his department say they are excited to bring that life-saving power to the palm of people’s hands across Utah County.
“It works through our dispatch center,” he explained.
Project leaders compare the system to Amber Alert. After someone calls 911, dispatch centers pinpoint the address of the emergency using GPS technology and notify other app-users within 500 meters.
“[It shows] them where the nearest AED is and where they’re at in comparison to the person that needs their help,” Smith said.
Experts say even uncertified people can use the app to perform CPR, as long as they are willing to follow the AED’s instructions and stay calm during an emergency.
Monday, partners at Mountain Point Medical Center say the app will make their jobs treating cardiac patients easier, too.
“When the patient comes wheeling in, having had initial CPR started, it makes the outcomes and our treatment in the hospital that much better,” explained Marc Sanderson, Director of Emergency Services.
Right now, the free app for Utah County has about 65 users. Paramedics say they are hoping more will download Pulsepoint and register as they hear about the program.
Lehi Fire Department is also helping bring Pulsepoint to Salt Lake and Davis Counties in the future.