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Seattle Firefighters Say Downloading This App Could Help You Save Someone's Life

Paula Wissel
Heather Kelley, who surivived cardiac arrest,Joined Seattle firefighters at the launch of the CPR app in Seattle..

Think of it as crowdsourcing emergency CPR treatment. A smart phone app called PulsePoint is now usable in Seattle. The Seattle Fire Department and the Medic One Foundation, which are launching it in the city, say it’s a way for people to be alerted when someone nearby is in sudden cardiac arrest.Seattle Wants To Sign Up 15,000 By July 1

Michael Sayre, medical director for Seattle Medic One, says the goal is to get at least 15,000 people to sign up for the app in the next month. People signing up should already be trained in CPR.

"I'm confident that by implementing a system to notify you, as a potential responder, that someone in the coffee shop next door or in the grocery store across the street needs your help, you will be able to come and start CPR before our already quick responding firefighters get there," Sayre said.

When you sign up for the PulsePoint app,you can indicate a geographic range for notification, from 500 feet to a quarter of a mile.

Sayre says the estimate is that receiving immediate CPR can double or triple your chance of survival.

Mom Credits Daughters For Survival

Heather Kelley credits the quick response of her daughters to her survival of cardiac arrest. A few years ago, they were all in downtown Seattle for the Seahawks victory parade when Kelley collapsed. Her  daughters did CPR on her until the medics arrived.

"My story has a happy ending because my daughters were in the right place at the right time. They knew it was critical to do that initial step to save my life," she said.

Kelley says the app will make it easier for more people to come to someone's aid.

PulsePoint Is In 24 States And Canada

Seattle isn’t the first city to use PulsePoint. Twelve hundred communities in the United States and Canada are using it, including Spokane and Kitsap County in Washington.

Paula is a former host, reporter and producer who retired from KNKX in 2021. She joined the station in 1989 as All Things Considered host and covered the Law and Justice beat for 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.