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June 3, 2024

Skagit County EMS Brings PulsePoint, a Lifesaving 9-1-1 Integrated Mobile App, to Skagit County

Skagit County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is pleased to announce the launch of PulsePoint to further the County’s commitment of creating a healthy and civically engaged community.
PulsePoint Respond, a free mobile app, is a real-time view into dispatch, increasing community awareness of emergent events, and alerting CPR-trained citizens to cardiac arrest victims nearby. The benefits of PulsePoint include:

  • Alerting CPR-trained citizens of cardiac events in their vicinity so they may administer aid.
  • Helping build a comprehensive Automated External Defibrillator (AED) registry.
  • Informing the community of EMS system activity in real time.

PulsePoint Respond empowers everyday citizens to provide lifeā€saving assistance to victims of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). PulsePoint Respond app subscribers, who have indicated they are trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and willing to assist in case of an emergency, can be notified if someone nearby is having a SCA and may require CPR. If the cardiac emergency is in a public place, the location-aware application will alert users in the vicinity of the need for CPR at the same time dispatch is alerted of the need for advanced medical care. The application also directs these potential rescuers to the exact location of the closest AED.

The companion app, PulsePoint AED, lets community members report and update AED locations so emergency responders, including nearby citizens, can find an AED close to them when a cardiac emergency occurs. You can help build the community registry by using PulsePoint AED to describe the location of an AED and add a picture. This information is then staged for local authorities to verify. Afterwards, the AED location data can be made available to dispatchers and anyone using the PulsePoint Respond app.

“With PulsePoint we hope to increase bystander involvement in these time-sensitive medical emergencies by increasing the use of CPR and AEDs,” said Josh Pelonio, Director of Skagit County Emergency Medical Services. “It gives our residents and visitors the ability to know when a cardiac arrest is occurring close by, locate AEDs in the area, and perform potentially lifesaving CPR while emergency personnel respond to the scene.” In 2023, Skagit County EMS provider agencies responded to more than 18,000 incidents, including nearly 150 cardiac arrest events.
The latest American Heart Association guidelines, published in Circulation, state these community programs could increase bystander CPR to the roughly 326,000 cardiac arrests happening outside the hospital each year.

About the PulsePoint Foundation PulsePoint is a public, 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation that builds applications for use by public safety agencies to increase community awareness during critical events. The PulsePoint Respond mobile app notifies trained individuals of the nearby need for CPR and the PulsePoint AED registry identifies AED (automated external defibrillator) locations for use by the public and 9-1-1 telecommunicators during emergency call taking. Learn more at pulsepoint.org. The free apps are available for download on the App Store and Google Play.

About Sudden Cardiac Arrest Although a heart attack can lead to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), the two are not the same. SCA is when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating unexpectedly, whereas a heart attack is when blood flow to the heart is blocked, but the heart continues to beat. Each year, more than 326,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur, making it the leading cause of death in the United States. Survival rates nationally for SCA are less than eight percent, but delivery of CPR can sustain life until paramedics arrive by maintaining vital blood flow to the heart and brain. However, only about a third of SCA victims receive bystander CPR. Without CPR, brain damage or death can occur in minutes. The average EMS response time is nine minutes, even in urban settings; after 10 minutes there is little chance of successful resuscitation. The American Heart Association estimates that effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after SCA, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.