An Oregon citizen, alerted to a cardiac arrest at a Wilsonville restaurant by a special signal on her smartphone, became the first citizen responder to arrive at the scene of a medical emergency on Wednesday using the PulsePoint alert notification system.
Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue in Tigard, along with American Medical Response, were dispatched to a cardiac arrest at Shari’s Restaurant at 9:02 a.m. in Wilsonville. Simultaneously, TVF&R’s PulsePoint mobile app notified three nearby citizen responders that someone near their locations needed CPR.
Heather Roms, a registered nurse for Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland, was leaving a nearby business when she received the alert and responded to the restaurant. Upon arriving, she began hands-only CPR until EMS crews arrived. Paramedics on the scene determined the patient had a “do not resuscitate” order in place and the patient was pronounced dead at the scene.
The incident marked the first time a PulsePoint responder arrived at the scene and initiated CPR on a cardiac patient, according to TVF&R.
Roms, the nurse who responded, said she learned about the mobile app from her mother who works at a nearby middle school. She said she was pleased she was available to respond and happy to help.
PulsePoint is a mobile app that alerts subscribers, who have indicated they are CPR trained, to be alerted to cardiac arrest events at the same time with TVF&R firefighters and EMT/paramedics giving them the opportunity to respond and in some cases, like the one in Shari’s Restaurant, to get there faster than EMS personnel.
The mobile app uses sophisticated location-based services to alert citizens of the need for CPR in public places. It further directs the citizen responder to the nearest public access automated external defibrillator (AED).
TVF&R have nearly 4,000 PulsePoint app subscribers. The department also encourages other citizens to download the free app for smartphones by going to iTunes or Google Play.
Visit TVF&R's website at www.tvfr.com for more information on the life-saving benefit of PulsePoint.