Technology’s impact on the fire service has been monumental. New tools are constantly being introduced to the market to make emergency response more efficient.

One example is the PulsePoint mobile application spearheaded by San Ramon Valley (Calif.) Fire Protection District Chief Richard Price.

Price discussed the innovative solution Tuesday during Fire-Rescue Med in Las Vegas. The application for iPhones was created to accomplish two things: 1) Improve cardiac arrest survival rates through improved bystander performance and active citizenship; 2) Generate support in the communities where departments are utilizing the tool.

This app has the rare ability today to really foster goodwill in our communities, Price said. I’ve seen it time and again how appreciative communities are by this.

The app is brilliant, but simple. Its works by alerting CPR-trained citizens with a text message when someone nearby is having a sudden cardiac event in a public location (not residential). The app directs citizen rescuers to patients and informs them of location of nearest available AED.

If we can get those AED’s out of the cabinets and onto the chests of patients, this app has tremendous potential, said Price, who is working to get other agencies to implement the application in their own communities.

With more than 1,000 people dying each day from sudden cardiac arrests – an average of one person every two minutes – Prices message resonated with the EMS-focused audience. As high as 50 percent of patients, would survive if CPR and AED’s were used within the first five minutes. Every minute that lapses, the chance of survival is reduced by 7-10 percent.

“We’re trying to improve awareness of bystanders who know CPR,” Price said.

“The app is currently being used in more than 300 communities across eight states and two countries,” Price said. “Its value has been recognized by various organizations, including the IAFC, which awarded it the Fire Service Award for Excellence and the American Heart Association, which tabbed it a Heart of Gold winner.”

For more on the creation of the application, please click here.