Smart phone app to help save lives - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Smart phone app to help save lives

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SAGINAW COUNTY (WJRT) -

(01/23/14) - When a heart attack strikes, seconds matter.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, topping cancer and strokes.

Two local organizations are doing everything they can to connect people with technology that saves lives.

The Pulse 3 Foundation and Mobile Medical Response are using a smart phone app. It's called Pulse Point. It's free and you can find it in the app store on your phone.

"It's an amazing app," said Lynn Schutter, Director of Communications at Mobile Medical Response.

When seconds matter, "You need to act immediately in instances of cardiac arrest," Schutter said.

According to Schutter, Saginaw County averages one heart attack a day.

"Our response times are six and eight minutes, within the city of Saginaw," Schutter said.

"If an ambulance gets to you in six minutes, which is a phenomenal response time, your chance of living is already down to 40 percent, so we want to get help to you as soon as we can," said Diane Fong, CEO of Pulse 3 Foundation.

While emergency crews are on the way, they'll use Pulse Point to save time and lives.

"An alert will go out when it's in a public location," Fong said.

"Similar to an amber alert," Schutter said.

If someone is having a heart attack, 911 will dispatch an ambulance, and MMR will send an alert through the app to get the attention of people nearby who are trained in CPR. Pulse Point also lets them know where the nearest automated external defibrillator can be found.

"We are the only service provider to bring the Pulse app to the state of Michigan," Schutter said.

Right now, the feature is only available in Saginaw, Isabella, Gratiot and Clare counties.
More than 3,000 people have already signed up to get the alerts, and the search is on for more volunteers.

"What we want is people who are willing to step in to help," Fong said.

"If we can get bystanders to step in and give that immediate help while we are on the way, we can really save a life," Schutter said.

To learn more about free CPR training click HERE.

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