Suffolk to improve cardiac response time with app

Suffolk County plans to use PulsePoint’s smartphone app to improve cardiac survival rates. (Screen image captured by Carrie Miller)

Suffolk County is planning to improve emergency response times for cardiac arrests through the use of a new smartphone technology called PulsePoint.

County officials said in a press release Suffolk is the first municipality on the East Coast to utilize the software. PulsePoint is a smartphone app developed in 2010 that alerts CPR-trained bystanders when someone nearby is having a sudden cardiac arrest. The app works in conjunction with Suffolk Fire Rescue and Emergency Services and is designed to improve sudden cardiac survival rates, officials said.

In addition to the county dispatching its usual emergency services after a 911 call is placed, PulsePoint sends an alert to nearby CPR-trained citizens. Notifications are only sent to volunteers registered with PulsePoint. The app is only activated if the emergency occurs in a public place because notifications aren’t sent containing residential addresses, according to PulsePoint’s website.

Volunteers that opt into the system will receive a push notification on their phones and a district alert tone when an emergency arises. The app directs rescuers with a live map to the emergency location and to the nearest Automatic External Defibrillator.

The software also provides timely information about the types of incidents emergency services are responding to, officials said.

County Executive Steve Bellone is expected to hold a press conference Thursday to unveil the PulsePoint app.

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