At their public meeting of Wednesday, July 13, the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders were presented with the 2016 New Jersey American Heartsaver Award from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. This recognition was awarded jointly to Burlington County and Virtua for their partnership in launching the lifesaving app PulsePoint.
Each year this award is given to people, organizations and businesses that take steps to strengthen the American Heart Association Chain of Survival.
Using location-aware technology, PulsePoint alerts CPR-trained persons in a public place to someone nearby in sudden cardiac arrest who may require CPR. The app is free to download for Android and iOS (Apple) mobile devices. The PulsePoint app is the first of its kind to be used in Southern New Jersey with Burlington County being the third jurisdiction on the East Coast to offer it. It is also currently available in Howard County, Md, and Jersey City.
“Virtua has a long history providing excellent health care and emergency medical services to the nearly 500,000 residents of Burlington County,” said Freeholder Mary Ann O’Brien, who participated in the initial launch of the PulsePoint app last year. “We are honored to receive this award with them and to be the first jurisdiction in our region to offer this life-saving technology. Already our partnership and this tool have encouraged hundreds of residents to learn CPR, helping to save lives.”
According to the American Heart Association, nearly 326,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests occur annually. Effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival, but only 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims get CPR from a bystander.
When a 911 call alerts dispatch to a cardiac arrest victim, the PulsePoint app is activated by the Burlington County public safety communications center while simultaneously notifying local emergency responders and Virtua paramedics. When activated, anyone within a quarter mile who has downloaded the app to their mobile device will receive a push notification on their smart phone with the location of the emergency. The app also provides the location of the nearest, known publicly accessible Automated External Defibrillator (AED) device.
“Working with our partners at Virtua, Burlington County will continue to lead the field in emergency medical services and we look forward to the many success stories that are sure to come from PulsePoint,” O’Brien said.
For additional information or to download PulsePoint, visit http://www.pulsepoint.org/download/.