What would you do if the person in line in front of you at the grocery store fell to the floor and stopped breathing? Do you know CPR? Could you help that person? If you answered “I don’t know” to any of those questions, you might be happy to know there is new technology in our community that could help you in this situation. Just like for everything else these days, “there’s an app for that!”

Here is how it works: All willing and able individuals who are trained in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) download the app and register as trained CPR providers in their area. When someone calls 911 to report cardiac arrest, PulsePoint gets activated by the local EMS and Fire District. Alerts are sent out in the area and all the participants are be notified of anyone suffering cardiac events near vicinity.  The app tells them where to go, and voila, they can help provide CPR while EMS in on the way.

Let’s go back to the earlier question about saving a life in the grocery store. First things first, if someone in front of you demonstrates signs of cardiac arrest, such as loss of breathing, loss of consciousness, and loss of heart function, you should immediately call 911.  In our area, West County EMS and Fire will come to the rescue. In the meantime, our emergency responders can activate the PulsePoint app to alert any participating person the emergency. So, let’s say the doctor in the dairy section sees a notification alerting him to a cardiac event at the checkout. He can be there in seconds, while EMS may take a few minutes to arrive.  When it comes to the heart, timing is everything. The CPR that the doctor can provide in the interim could be the difference between life and death for your fellow shopper.

On the flip side, if you are a first responder, a nurse, a doctor, a therapist, or anyone at all who has ever been trained in CPR, you now have an emergency alert built right in to your cell phone! This means you are able to help save a life even when you are off the clock.  

Not only does the app alert trained bystanders to an emergent situation, it shows them where the nearest Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are.  An AED is an automated device that talks someone through the process of providing an electric shock to the heart, shocking it back into a proper rhythm.  This is a critical life-saving device found in many public places. However, many people don’t know where they are or how to use them. Again, the PulsePoint community comes to the rescue.  In non-emergent situations, PulsePoint users can report the location of AEDs and even send in pictures of what it looks like. Then, in an emergency, the app can direct a user to the nearest AED.  This means the doctor in the grocery store can direct someone to the AED and provide even more assistance while EMS is en route.

The greatest part of all of this is that it’s not just an idea, but reality in our community. West County EMS and Fire is registered with PulsePoint, so this service available to us! Are you CPR certified? Go join the PulsePoint community and help spread the word! If you aren’t CPR certified, you can help too. Download the app and register any AEDs that you see in public places. Let’s work together to build a life-saving community in St. Louis West County.


Download the app today!  –>https://www.pulsepoint.org/download/

Interested in learning CPR? The American Heart Association has training course options for all levels of experience and through multiple training methods. Find a course that is right for you at https://cpr.heart.org/AHAECC/CPRAndECC/Training/HeartsaverCourses/UCM_473174_Heartsaver-Courses.jsp