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New Phone App Calls On Trained Civilians

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Call it a “force multiplier,” a public agency enabling trained citizens to locate and respond to life or death situations via a new cellphone app.

It’s known as PulsePoint and it has been around for awhile but Contra Costa County fire departments are embracing the technology in an effort to direct people trained in CPR and other lifesaving techniques to someone suffering a heart attack. PulsePoint alerts smartphone carriers with the necessary training when someone suffers a cardiac event, gives their location, and tells them how far away first responders are.

“The deployment of the PulsePoint app is the next step in developing a comprehensive network of life-saving efforts that includes fire department first responders, ambulance transport providers, the placement of publicly accessible AEDs, hospital emergency departments and members of the public who are trained in CPR,” said Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Chief Daryl Louder. “This technology gives us the ability to notify people when and where their assistance is needed in order to help save a life in their community.”

Along with Louder’s Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, the East Contra Costa, Moraga-Orinda, Crockett-Carquinez and Rodeo-Hercules fire districts, and the Pinole Fire Department are all currently using the life-saving app, created by Pleasanton-based PulsePoint Foundation – which is headed by San Ramon Valley Fire Chief Richard Price.