Column: PulsePoint app increases health and resiliency in St. Louis Park

Steve Koering

The City of St. Louis Park recently became one of the first cities in Minnesota to officially become a PulsePoint community, adding a powerful tool to its efforts to increase cardiac survival rates in St. Louis Park. With PulsePoint, any CPR-trained person who has downloaded the app and agreed to receive alerts will be notified if someone nearby requires CPR.

In 2016, more than 52 people experienced cardiac events in public places in St. Louis Park, each waiting for trained help to arrive. Every minute of delay in CPR or automatic external defibrillator (AED) use means a 10-percent reduction in survivability of the cardiac event. This is where PulsePoint comes in, offering the opportunity to get a trained person administering CPR as soon as possible.

Here’s how the PulsePoint app works. If the cardiac emergency is in a public place and 911 has been called, trained citizens in the vicinity are alerted by the app of the need for bystander CPR until police, fire and EMS crews can arrive. The app also directs citizen rescuers to the exact location of the closest publicly accessible AED.

PulsePoint is free and available for both Android and Apple smartphones. Once downloaded, locate “Agencies” under the menu tab, then select St. Louis Park Fire Department and click Follow. Under Settings, select CPR and acknowledge the message. Users may also select a number of other call types to follow, and will receive an alert if CPR is needed in a public space within 400 yards of the user.

Not confident in your CPR skills? Residents who would like to arrange for training or a refresher in hands-only CPR or AED use may contact Nancy Schmelzle, St. Louis Park Fire Department community outreach coordinator, at [email protected] or 952-300-1413.

Already, many residents have signed up for the PulsePoint app. I hope you’ll join the PulsePoint community and contribute to increasing the health and resiliency of all St. Louis Park residents!

Steve Koering is St. Louis Park’s fire chief. This column is a part of a series of occasional St. Louis Park public safety columns.