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Watching this story (above) from Howard County, Maryland of yet another CPR save using PulsePoint.org, you have to wonder why the app isn’t universal. Is there any other recent innovation in EMS saving more lives?
PulsePoint finally makes citizens trained in CPR a real part of EMS anywhere (see video immediately below). When Morley Safer on “60 Minutes” first shared the secrets of Seattle’s Medic One program in 1974 (see video at bottom of this post) it was an eye-opener for communities across the country. But having a great many people trained in CPR is one thing. Leveraging that training so those same people are an active part of an EMS system is something entirely different and groundbreaking.
PulsePoint.org is the EMS version of the commercial which promotes the idea that residential sprinklers are like having a firefighter in every home.
My connection with fire and EMS officially began the same year as that “60 Minutes” story. During discussions with friends over the intervening 43 years I’ve often made the case that Dr. R. Adams Cowley of “golden hour” fame is one those medical pioneers up there with the Jonas Salks of the world in the number of lives they’ve saved and continue to save (yes, I am aware of “golden hour” critics). It’s starting to seem that what Dr. Cowley did for trauma victims, PulsePoint.org‘s Chief Richard Price is doing for victims of sudden cardiac arrest, where it’s the seconds and minutes that are golden.
Often the difficult part of adding a new program like Pulse Point is convincing those who hold the purse strings. My guess is that with more stories like the Howard County save emerging, soon mayors, county executives, council members and others in charge will be questioning fire and EMS chiefs on why they haven’t yet requested PulsePoint.org.