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PulsePoint app tells users someone nearby needs CPR

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(Photo: PulsePoint.org)

ARVADA, Colo. — The Arvada Fire Department is teaming up with a smart phone app developer in an effort to mix altruism with geo-location technology to save lives.

PulsePoint is a free app that can help someone who is having sudden cardiac arrest.

Users register through the app that they know CPR. The app will then notify the user if someone nearby is having cardiac arrest.  It gives directions to the victim as well as show any nearby defibrillators.

The app is activated by 911 dispatchers and alerts go to anyone within walking distance of the victim, that is CPR trained and is willing to help.

The notifications are also only made if the victim is in a public place such as a mall or park, said Arvada fire spokesman Scott Pribble.

“They don’t want people driving in their car to an emergency,” Pribble said.

Colorado’s Good Samaritan Law gives legal liability protection to anyone who is willing to help as long as they do not attempt to do more than they are trained to do.

When a person goes into sudden cardiac arrest, their heart, lungs and brain no longer receive the oxygen. Victims can die within minutes if they don’t receive help.

Registered users need only be willing to do “hands only” CPR, without mouth-to-mouth breathing.

The American Heart Association has found that hands only CPR has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR in the first few minutes of an out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest.

Pribble said the Arvada Fire Department is the first in the state to use the service.  Other fire departments in Colorado will be watching to see how well it works in Arvada, Pribble said.

The app is available for both Google Android and Apple iOS phones.  PulsePoint is a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in San Francisco whose mission is to help people with CPR training to use their skills.

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