Columbus Fire Officials Hope To Save More Lives With New CPR Phone App


UPDATED: Tuesday February 19, 2013 5:49 PM

When a heart stops beating, some central Ohioans could soon know where and when to help.

The Columbus Division of Fire is expected to join a growing number of fire departments with the ability to let people trained in CPR to respond to an emergency scene simply by responding a cell phone alert.

Statistics show if someone doesn't perform CPR within a few minutes of a heart attack, the chances of survival aren’t good.

The Columbus Division of Fire can respond within four minutes to a call for someone who isn't breathing.

However, the department said time could be drastically reduced with the introduction of a new cell phone app called Pulse Point.

Those with CPR training are encouraged to sign up.

"If you are shopping at a local grocery store and someone was having a cardiac arrest this app would pop up and tell you,” said Battalion Chief Shawn Koser, who is head of the Columbus Division of Fire's EMS unit.

The app works in conjunction with the fire department's 911 dispatch center. When someone calls 911 about a heart attack, the app sends the address to Pulse Point subscribers who may be closer to the victim than paramedics.

“We know that early CPR will save lives,” said David Keseg, the medical director for Columbus Division of Fire.

Keseg led the charge to bring the app to Columbus.

"It would be more likely to save lives if we had this in place," Keseg said.

Fire department officials said timing is everything when it comes to cardiac arrest. The survival rate in Columbus is just 11 percent, but when this app is released, officials said they hoped that number would be greatly improved.

Registered nurse Sandra Osman said she is eager to sign up. She's trained in advanced life support and said she understands the importance of saving lives.

“I would utilize it as a registered nurse i feel i have a responsibility both on and off the clock to perform that if needed,” Osman said.

Osman likely will get that chance as the fire department hopes to launch the app within weeks, and with it  add to the ranks thousands of new life- saving hero's in our city who can jump into action all by answering their cell phones.

The fire department said the app is designed for people who can respond to those in public places, not their homes, and that the free phone app will not include fire runs, because the division doesn't want people racing into burning homes.

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