Enlists citizen responders in effort to build on historic lifesaving milestone reached in 2017
New Castle, DE – County Executive Matt Meyer and Emergency Medical Services Chief Lawrence E. Tan today announced the launch of a smartphone application that directs citizen responders to locations where CPR is needed to save lives. PulsePoint is an emergency response program that alerts CPR-trained bystanders about a nearby cardiac arrest event and directs citizen responders to the closest automatic external defibrillator (AED) during an emergency medical response.
“Every second matters when a heart stops beating,” County Executive Meyer said. “Download PulsePoint. Learn CPR. Help save lives in those critical moments before first responders arrive.”
The County’s PulsePoint initiative will further improve New Castle County’s sudden cardiac arrest survival rate, which achieved a new milestone in 2017. Each year, 450,000 Americans die suddenly from sudden cardiac arrest, and nationally the survival rate for sudden cardiac arrests experienced outside of a healthcare facility can be as low as 10 percent. Those grim statistics drove New Castle County, which operates Delaware’s largest emergency medical service, to improve cardiac arrest survival through community engagement, improved training and coordination among first responders and better data collection an analysis. The best chance of survival of sudden cardiac arrest begins with immediate CPR.
“Less than half of the sudden cardiac arrest patients in New Castle County receive bystander-initiated CPR,” said Chief Lawrence E. Tan. “Yet, we know that witnessed cardiac arrests with effective bystander CPR triple a person’s chance of survival in our county. There is power in our community for bystanders to help save more lives from sudden cardiac arrest.”
Members of the public who are trained in CPR are urged to download the free PulsePoint smartphone app, available on the Apple App store and Google Play, and register their willingness to provide CPR during an emergency medical situation. PulsePoint is linked to the dispatch computer in the New Castle County 911 center and when a possible cardiac arrest is reported, the 911 system sends an alert that notifies nearby users.
The PulsePoint app also provides a crowd-sourced countywide AED registry. Individuals can use the PulsePoint app to record locations where AEDs are available in public settings, even before a life is in danger. Users place the AED location on a map, add business and descriptor information, and submit photos of the AED in its location in businesses, government facilities and other community sites. Community-sourced AED locations, once confirmed, are available on the PulsePoint app when participating bystanders are notified of nearby sudden cardiac arrest events.
County Executive Meyer and EMS Chief Tan thanked New Castle County Recorder of Deeds Michael Kozikowski for supporting the PulsePoint project by providing funding from the Recorder of Deeds Technology Fund to pay the initial set-up and annual subscription fees for the program.
Jason Miller, 302-545-1462
Paramedic Senior Corporal David McKinney, 302-650-9593, NCC Emergency Medical Services
Paramedic First Class Yvonne Russell, 302-540-4905, NCC Emergency Medical Services