Madeline Noblett, PFA Public Affairs and Communication Manager
In an effort to increase access to life-saving technology, five rural Larimer County agencies will join Poudre Fire Authority in using the smartphone app PulsePoint.
PulsePoint access will in October be available to people in the communities served by Crystal Lakes Fire Protection District, Estes Valley Fire Protection District, Glacier View Fire Department, Poudre Canyon Fire Protection District, and Red Feather Lakes Volunteer Fire Department.
“Bringing PulsePoint to more communities means that we, the collective village of professional first responders and everyday people, can save more lives,” said PFA Fire Chief Tom DeMint. “Together, we are stronger. Together, we can make a difference.”
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The free app is available for download on Android and Apple smartphones and is used by fire departments and emergency agencies nationwide.
Once installed, users can see in real-time the calls to which selected agencies are dispatched and listen to corresponding emergency responder radio traffic. Most importantly, users can opt in to receive emergency notifications from the app when someone within a quarter-mile of the app users’ location needs cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR. It also features a map showing the location of nearby automatic external defibrillators, or AEDs.
American Heart Association data show more than 350,000 emergency medical services-assessed out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in U.S. About 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival. Hands-only CPR has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR for cardiac arrests that occur at home, at work or in public.
Through a collaboration of partners from Larimer County agencies, PFA in January 2015 launched PulsePoint within its 235-square-mile service area, which covers the City of Fort Collins, the Town of Timnath, the communities of Laporte and Bellvue, and other areas of unincorporated Larimer County.
As part of a goal to increase the total number of app downloads and, thus, increase the app’s potential to reach a person near a heart-related emergency, PFA worked with Larimer Emergency Telephone Authority (LETA) to integrate other Larimer County agencies under PFA’s PulsePoint service plan. With more than 300,000 people within Larimer County, LETA and PFA plan to continue conversations and determine if and how to increase access to PulsePoint at additional Larimer County departments and agencies.
PFA employs a PulsePoint coordinator who has since 2015 taught hands-only CPR, and AED and PulsePoint use to more than 13,000 people. Efforts are currently underway to increase health equity and teach classes to people in the Spanish-speaking community.