June 3, 2021

Education and a new mobile tool will empower citizens to provide lifesaving assistance

University of Missouri Health Care, Boone County Joint Communications, Boone Health Ambulance Service, Boone County Fire District, Columbia Fire Department, and the Southern Boone County Fire Protection District have joined forces for a collaborative effort to educate and arm the public with tools to improve the odds of survival for those who suffer cardiac arrest.

In coordination with Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Awareness Week, which begins June 1, Boone County Joint Communications is announcing the adoption of PulsePoint, a free-to-download mobile application. The app is designed to notify users when someone nearby is experiencing cardiac arrest. If the emergency is in a public place, the application will alert trained citizens while simultaneously dispatching emergency crews to the location. The application also directs bystanders to the exact location of the closest public Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

“With this new tool we hope to increase bystander involvement in time-sensitive medical calls by increasing the use of CPR and AEDs, while also keeping the community informed, in real time, of  emergency activities,” said Chad Martin, director of the Boone County Emergency Communications Center. “It gives our community residents and visitors the ability to know when a cardiac arrest is occurring close by, locate AEDs in the area, and perform potentially lifesaving CPR while emergency personnel respond to the scene. It also shows them general information for select 9-1-1 calls to keep them better informed of what’s going on in our community.”

In an effort to increase the number of Boone County citizens who are trained to help during cardiac arrest, MU Health Care offers an outreach program called Save MO Hearts that teaches individuals to assist someone who has suffered sudden cardiac arrest by performing hands-only CPR until professional medical help arrives.

“You don’t have to do mouth-to-mouth anymore to save a life,” said Joshua Stilley, MD, chief of the Division of EMS at MU Health Care. “More lives can be saved if more Americans know CPR and how to use an AED. By offering citizens this training and by offering a valuable notification tool like PulsePoint, we believe we can dramatically improve the odds of survival for cardiac arrest patients.”

You can download the PulsePoint application on your mobile phone’s app store. To sign up for group CPR training through MU Health Care’s Save MO Hearts program, go to https://www.muhealth.org/conditions-treatments/emergency/save-mo-hearts​.