Winter Park may have just gotten a little safer with the help of a nifty new app.
The city announced earlier this month the Winter Park Fire-Rescue Department has integrated its dispatch system with the PulsePoint app — a software for any smartphone or tablet that can alert users if someone nearby is in need of CPR or other medical assistance.
Here’s how it works: When the Fire-Rescue Department receives a call of someone in a cardiac arrest or other emergency, an alert is sent by the department through PulsePoint with a simple keystroke at the time of dispatch.
Any user who knows CPR or wishes to be notified of any Winter Park emergencies will be sent the location of the patient in need through the app, allowing them to get there before first responders arrive and keep the patient stable.
“The idea is that we’re about four or five minutes away, depending of course where we’re at when the call comes in — if you’re able to get to the patient and do nonstop compressions, we’re going to come in, you’re going to do your thing and that chance of survivability for that patient is going to be dramatically increased,” Fire Chief Dan Hagedorn said.
The app also can notify people about structure fires, commercial fires, hazmat situations, vegetation fires, marine rescue scenarios and more.
“It allows you to filter the type of call that you would like to listen to and the area or jurisdiction that you’re in,” Hagedorn said. “You could do Orange County, Orlando or all of Central Florida — any participating organization or fire department. If you filter yourself and you’re notified for cardiac arrest and you know how to use an AED — there’s a pick list — you have to allow the system to know where you’re at and it follows you. … It alerts you that you’re somewhere in the vicinity of an AED and you can get to the person that is in need.”
Hagedorn added that every second counts during a sudden cardiac arrest. A person’s chances of survival decreases by about 10% every minute he or she is pulseless and without respirations, he said.
PulsePoint updates in real time, so there’s virtually no delay, Hagedorn said.
“We’re able to leverage that simple tool into potentially a life-saving scenario,” Hagedorn said.
PulsePoint is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation based in the San Francisco bay area, and the Winter Park Fire-Rescue Department were able to pay for the integration of PulsePoint with a grant they recently received.