People in Los Angeles trained in CPR techniques could soon download a phone application that alerts them to those nearby who are suffering from cardiac arrest, fire officials said Friday.
The Los Angeles Fire Department is working out a contract with the app-maker, PulsePoint, to give those trained in CPR the ability to rush to the aid of people undergoing cardiac arrest in a public place within Los Angeles, fire officials told the City Council’s Public Safety Committee.
The app sends alerts to its users at the same time fire department dispatchers are notifying emergency crews, and also shows the location of nearby defibrillators.
In many cases, bystanders can respond to the victims faster than the fire department, officials said.
The alerts would only be sent out for cardiac arrest victims who happen to be in a public area. Health privacy and safety concerns prevent alerts to be sent out on people suffering heart attacks at private residences.
The app is already in use in areas covered by the Los Angeles County Fire Department, which integrated with the app this summer.
The creator of PulsePoint, Richard Price, is a former Bay Area fire chief who was on break eating at a restaurant when a person in the next building was suffering from cardiac arrest, city fire officials said. Price was not monitoring the dispatch system and did not learn about it until the fire trucks pulled up, they said.
There are no up-front costs, but there may be some minimal maintenance expenses amounting to about $25,000, city fire officials said today.
The city might be two to three weeks away from getting its fire dispatch system synced up with the app, ” so we’re real close to implementing this,” Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas told the Public Safety Committee.
Terrazas said because he lives at the southern end of the city, near county areas, he has already signed up for the app.
“This is one piece of a menu of options that is going to improve response times,” Terrazas said. “We don’t always have to be sworn to help. Any civilian who knows CPR who signs up for this app can be a responder.”
— City News Service
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