It seems like there's an app for everything these days but of all the apps on your smart phone, is there one that could help you save a life? The Avera Heart Hospital has teamed up with Sioux Falls Fire Rescue to launch an app that can turn everyday citizens into life saving heroes.
On average it takes Sioux Falls emergency responders around six minutes to get on scene. But when it comes to sudden cardiac arrest those six minutes could mean the difference between life and death.
"I believe there are people out there, who are willing, able, and trained to do CPR and all they need to know is that there is a need for that." Said Division Chief Jeff Helm with Sioux Falls Fire Rescue.
Say hello to PulsePoint, a free app for your smart phone that does exactly that. It's an alert system that turns everyday people into lifesavers.
"You go through where you want to be alerted, CPR alerts you click that on then it uses your GPS location to tell you of a nearby CPR need." Said Helm.
PulsePoint uses the city's own emergency dispatch to alert people within a half mile radius of a sudden cardiac arrest. That way intervention, like hands only CPR, can start immediately.
"As soon as EMS is dispatched on a CPR need call they get that info through the PulsePoint app at the same time. So that's real time data that's going to them at the same time it's going into EMS, so they have that jumpstart so to speak." Said Helm.
Say for example you're at Falls Park, someone could be having heart problems on the other side of the river but PulsePoint will alert your phone telling you there is someone very close by that needs CPR. But the app goes a step further by also letting you know there is an AED right inside the visitor center's doors.
"When that alert happens that information comes up to those citizens so they can go this is where I'm at, they look at the map this is where that incident is, this is where the AED is at, it tells them that so they can go start CPR and they could direct someone else to get that AED because they have that information they can say it's to the left of the desk go grab the AED." Said Helm.
An AED is an automated external defibrillator, a machine that can help shock a heart back into rhythm. The Avera Heart Hospital sponsors more than 1200 AED's in the four state area, more than 400 are in Sioux Falls alone.
"If you look, very few communities have the number of AED's we do and this is just going to enhance their use." Said John Soderholm, President and CEO of the Avera Heart Hospital.
On average, these machines save one life every month in our area. With PulsePoint's launch that average should increase.
Sioux Falls is just one of ten cities in the nation to utilize the lifesaving service. The goal is to get it worldwide and make sure those in need get help as soon as possible.
"If you come through our emergency room And you've had CPR or use of an AED we have a real good chance of saving your life. If you come in and you haven't, the chances aren't so good." Said Soderholm.
Just like checking the box to become an organ donor, the PulsePoint app is just another way of turning citizens into heroes.
Right now PulsePoint serves the Sioux Falls community but the goal is to expand the service to the surrounding cities and states. it's available for a free download on both Android and Apple markets.
For more information about PulsePoint just call 877-at-avera