New App Could Help Save Lives

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Provided by Prince William County

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You’ve learned CPR, and you are ready to help others. Now how do you put your training to good use? There’s an app for that, of course. Prince William County’s Department of Fire and Rescue is looking for anyone who knows CPR to download PulsePoint, an app that notifies those nearby of a medical emergency where CPR needs to be administered.

“The goal of this program is to notify participants of the possible need for CPR to try and save as many lives as possible,” said Fire and Rescue Captain Tom Clark.

The users of the application who have indicated they are trained in CPR and willing to assist in case of an emergency will be notified if someone nearby is having a cardiac emergency in a public place. The notification to the application is sent at the same time as the County’s 9-1-1 system dispatches fire and rescue crews to the medical emergency.

In addition to the early intervention of CPR, the use of an Automated External Defibrillator, or AED, can increase the chance of surviving a cardiac arrest. PulsePoint can help with that, as well. The app will indicate the location of the nearest AED at the same time it shows the location of the cardiac arrest victim. “The citizen responder will be notified through PulsePoint on their smart phone. It will show where they are in relation to the location of the incident, if they’re within a quarter-mile, and the closest AED. It’s important to know where the AED is and to use it.”

Clark said the main idea behind PulsePoint is to get help to cardiac arrest victims as soon as possible. Every minute people go without aid after a cardiac arrest reduces their chance of survival by 10 percent. “Hopefully, this will be a link in the CPR chain of survival that will really catch on.”

PulsePoint and PulsePoint AED can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.

For more information about the Department of Fire and Rescue, PulsePoint or where you can learn CPR, visit


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