A new smartphone app designed to save lives has made its way to Sioux Falls.
Sioux Falls Fire Rescue teamed up with Avera Heart Hospital to explain how this new technology could save a lot of lives. Pulse Point is designed to help connect people with cardiac arrest to individuals who are trained in CPR, as well as find an AED.
"It's so easy to use. It tells you exactly, not only where the cardiac arrest is occurring, how close you are to it and also if there is a public access defib nearby," Sioux Falls Fire Chief Jim Sideras said.
When someone subscribes to the app and indicates that they are willing and able to provide life-saving assistance to cardiac arrest victims, they will be instantly notified when someone close by has a cardiac emergency.
"It uses our cell phone. Our GPS technology in the cell phone, mapped to our dispatching center. Seamlessly integrated, so as soon as a call goes out, if you're within a half a mile of that cardiac arrest, in a public place, you'll be notified on your smart phone," Sideras said.
Letting people know where defibrillators are located will also aid the life-saving process.
"If they do, we can get our cardiac saves up to roughly about 80 percent. And we can have some of the highest cardiac saves in the country with patients leaving the hospital in tact," Sideras said.
One man who was saved with an AED says the use of these special devices needs to be more widespread.
"90 percent of the people today that have out of hospital cardiac arrests still don't survive. 9 out of 10 people. So for me, like John said, I'm one of the fortunate ones. I can't tell you how important it is to understand these steps," Rod Fieldsen said.
The number of cardiac episodes in our area shows just how much this program really is needed.
"We're running a cardiac arrest just about every other day in Sioux Falls. So it's just not uncommon for us to have a cardiac arrest, and we really increase those numbers. And we're hoping that this does," Sideras said.
Sioux Falls is on the cutting edge of this new technology, being one of only 10 cities in the nation using the Pulse Point program.
To download this free app, you can search "Pulse Point" in the app store on your Android or iPhone devices.