Smart phones these days can do much more than simply make a call, and first responders in Ada County are using that to their advantage and encouraging folks to help them save lives by downloading a new app called PulsePoint.
When someone is having a heart attack, the first few minutes are critical.
“We’ve known for a lot of years, that community involvement in cardiac arrest is essential to survivability,” said Fire Chief Mark Niemeyer with the Meridian Fire Department.
And thanks to the PulsePoint app, CPR-trained users are connected to nearby victims of cardiac arrest.
“It recognizes that you’re trained in CPR, so when a call comes in — in your area — it automatically notifies you and tells you where that cardiac arrest is taking place,” Niemeyer said. “Which allows you to go and help before we get there.”
Niemeyer says the free app is a game changer. Even first responders themselves can be notified of life-threatening emergencies before the call comes into the station.
App users also have the option of receiving notifications about other calls that come into the emergency management system, such as vehicle accidents and structure fires.
More than 6,000 Ada County residents have signed up for PulsePoint, but first responders say they’d like to see that number jump to about 20,000.
“The more folks we have help us, that just means helping somebody else,” Niemeyer said. “It means helping a neighbor, a loved one, a friend. The more folks that have this app, the more help we get out on the streets.”
The app also notifies users of nearby automated external defibrillators (AEDs).
It is available for download for both Apple and Android users.