Montgomery County Commissioners Announce New Program to Save Lives
Montgomery County is launching a new mobile app to strengthen the chain of survival for cardiac arrest victims in the county. Montgomery County is the first county in Southeastern Pennsylvania and the second in the state to launch this life-saving app.
Montgomery County Commissioners Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, Ken Lawrence Jr., and Joe Gale were joined by Dr. Ben Usatch, EMS director at Lankenau Medical Center and medical director for the Montgomery County Department of Public Safety; Dr. Timothy Shapiro, Chief of Interventional Cardiology at Lankenau Medical Center; Don Lynch, chief of Harleysville Area EMS and president of the Montgomery County Ambulance Association, and Richard Sax, a survivor of sudden cardiac arrest, to discuss the life-saving value of this new technology.
“Bystander CPR and use of AEDs save lives. The Montgomery County PulsePoint app will help those trained in CPR reach victims in need,” said Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, Chair, Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. “We are proud to be working closely with local fire, police, EMS, and others to spread the word about the technology and also encourage more residents to get trained in CPR so they can become part of the Montco-PulsePoint team saving lives.”
The PulsePoint Respond App is connected to the Montgomery County Department of Public Safety 911 call center and will alert those who have the app and are CPR-trained whenever an ambulance is dispatched in response to a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in a public area within a ¼ mile of their location. The app will also show the location of the nearest Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) if it is registered with PulsePoint.
Early application of bystander CPR and defibrillation from an AED dramatically improves a person’s chance of surviving a Sudden Cardiac Arrest. According to the American Heart Association, CPR, especially if performed within the first few minutes can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.
“I’ve seen the dramatic difference it makes when someone who has suffered cardiac arrest has gotten CPR,” said Dr. Timothy Shapiro, Chief of Interventional Cardiology at Lankenau Medical Center. “This app will help save lives.”
The county has already reached out to local police, fire, EMS, and health care professionals in Montgomery County to sign up to download the PulsePoint Respond app to their phone.
In addition to calling on CPR-trained residents to sign up for the app, the Department of Public Safety is asking residents to use a second app to crowdsource locations of AEDs throughout the county. PulsePoint AED tracks the locations of publically accessible AEDs in the community. The app allows users to drop a pin on a map and enter a description of the AED’s location, and then snap a picture of it. The information is stored for local authorities to verify. Once verified, the information will be made available on the PulsePoint Respond app.
The Department of Public Safety encourages anyone in Montgomery County who is CPR trained, especially first responders and health care professionals, to download and begin using the free PulsePoint apps. They are available for iPhone and Android and can be downloaded from the iTunes Store and Google Play or by following this link: http://www.pulsepoint.org/download/