App designed to help save lives, widely used in the Bay Area

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The PulsePoint app designed to save lives

Several Bay Area agencies have joined a growing app designed to connect first responders to the entire community.

In an emergency, the first responder may not be close, but a civilian who can help may be nearby. The PulsePoint app connects not only first responders, but anyone in the community to emergency alerts in their area.

Several Tampa Bay agencies use the PulsePoint app. A spokeswoman for the PulsePoint Foundation says the app is aimed at the entire community.

“Those notifications are real-time, so you can see these things as they unfold,” Sarasota County Lifeguard Chief Rick Hinkson said.

Sarasota and Manatee counties use the PulsePoint app.

“It takes an average of nine minutes for an ambulance to respond and get to your incident,” said James Crutchfield, Manatee County Deputy Director of Public Safety.

Anyone can sign up for the app and receive alerts when there are emergencies in their area, such as a cardiac arrest requiring CPR or an AED.

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“We’re getting pings saying water backup,” Hinkson said. “All lifeguards generally relate to that, but it’s EMS calls, any kind of hazmat calls.”

In Sarasota on Saturday, an off-duty lifeguard received a PulsePoint alert about a water rescue. He was nearby and managed to save nine people, including a family of seven, from a rip current.

“We had a first one shop at Sam’s and the PulsePoint went off and they were able to respond in the grocery store,” Crutchfield said. – They were off duty.

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Manatee County Public Safety officials, a bystander could be minutes or even seconds away from an emergency and have the training or tools to help while waiting for first responders to arrive.

“It directs that individual to the person who needs help and assistance and provides audible instructions on the screen,” Crutchfield said.

He says a business or residential community that has an AED on site can also sign up through the app if there’s an emergency in that area.

The app allows more people to have a finger on the pulse of their community.

“It can kind of help bring that lifesaver community when life is on the line,” Hinkson said.

Crutchfield says he hopes to see the app continue to grow.

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“In the future, I hope to make the app accessible to people who need access to Narcan,” Crutchfield said.

PulsePoint says the app is used in 5,100 communities across North America. IT says 170,830 AEDs are currently registered.

Anyone can sign up for the app for free. The app does not require people to submit a training certification of their skills to sign up.

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