The Springfield Fire Department and local emergency services personnel have partnered to launch PulsePoint Respond to the greater Ozarks region. PulsePoint is a smartphone app designed to support public safety agencies working to improve cardiac arrest survival rates. The app alerts CPR-trained citizens of cardiac events in their vicinity so they may administer aid. The app also notifies users of the closest available Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Early application of bystander CPR and rapid defibrillation from an AED have proven to be crucial in improving a person’s chance of surviving sudden cardiac arrest. PulsePoint is not limited to emergency responders or those with official CPR certification, as it can be used by anyone who has been trained in CPR.

“When a patient is in cardiac distress, the quicker they receive help, the greater chance they have for a complete recovery,” says Dr. Stephen Kuehn, interventional cardiologist with CoxHealth. “This technology is a wonderful tool to have in place, and I’m excited for what it means for patients throughout southwest Missouri.”

PulsePoint is another component of the Springfield LifeSave Initiative started by the Springfield Fire Department to improve survival rates of those experiencing cardiac arrest. Funding and operational partners include: CoxHealth, Mercy, the City of Springfield, Missouri State University, Ozarks Technical Community College, Drury University, Evangel University, City Utilities, and the Springfield-Greene County Health Department. The technology is now available in the 17-plus county region served by both Mercy and CoxHealth.

After downloading the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play by searching for “PulsePoint,” those trained in CPR and wishing to assist in case of an emergency can be notified of a cardiac emergency nearby that may require CPR. If the cardiac emergency is in a public place, the location-aware application will alert trained citizens in the vicinity of the need for bystander CPR at the same time first responders are dispatched. The application also directs these citizen rescuers to the exact location of the closest publicly accessible Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Note: User notification only occurs after the 9-1-1 system has been activated.

“We believe PulsePoint will be a powerful tool in our efforts to increase survival rates in our community,” said Springfield Fire Chief David Pennington. “In addition to the lifesaving CPR notifications, the application provides a complete virtual window into the emergency communication center.” For professional responders, Pennington says PulsePoint Respond can improve situational awareness, increase incident and resource visibility, and enhance overall interoperability with our neighboring jurisdictions.

“The collaboration between all the partners will bring this incredible life-saving tool to reality not only in Springfield but across the 17 counties served by Mercy and CoxHealth EMS,” explained Bob Patterson, Mercy director of emergency medical services. “Through early notification of those willing to assist in providing CPR until first responders and EMS can arrive, we will improve survival of cardiac arrest victims in the region.”

For those interested in learning CPR, Springfield Fire Department offers the following free opportunities in October:

  • Saturday, Oct. 6 at Fire Station #12, 2455 S. Blackman Road: 9-10 a.m.
  • Monday, Oct.15 at Fire Station #1, 720 E. Grand: 2-3 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 18 at Fire Station #8, 1405 S. Scenic: 6-7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 27 at Fire Station #5, W. Kearney: 11 a.m.-noon

To register online, visit springfieldlifesave.com or contact Kevin Trogdon at 417-874-2340.