SFD honored with 2019 PulsePoint Agency of the Year Award

Michele Anderson, Public Safety Communications Manager

Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 11:15 a.m.

The Spokane Fire Department is the proud recipient of the 2019 PulsePoint Agency of the Year Award.

“The Spokane Fire Department and Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer have provided national leadership on community-based response to cardiac arrest,” says Shannon Smith, PulsePoint vice president of communications. “We commend and congratulate Spokane for having one of the highest rates of citizen engagement with PulsePoint in the country.”

In Spokane, CPR-trained citizens were alerted to a nearby need for CPR more than 100 times in the past year, with an 85 percent public activation rate. Additionally, Spokane has more than 250 registered AED devices placed throughout the community.

“Once a sudden cardiac arrest begins, chances of that person surviving decrease 10 percent for every minute that passes without resuscitation,” says Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer. “We have proudly been PulsePoint connected for more than five years and encourage everyone to become trained in CPR, download the PulsePoint Respond app, follow Spokane Fire and help save lives.”

With nearly 74 percent of cardiac incidents in Spokane occurring in a private residence, Spokane was one of the first agencies in the country to deploy PulsePoint Verified Responder for residential response, a program that utilizes off-duty professional firefighters, technology and defibrillators. Since its launch in September 2017, the program has achieved a 16 percent private cardiac arrest activation rate.

In addition to the notifying CPR-trained community members of a nearby need for CPR, the PulsePoint application provides a virtual window into select 9-1-1 emergency communication centers giving subscribers real-time access to emergency activity as it is occurring. Subscribers are able to view active incidents, including the current response status of dispatched units, and instantly pinpoint incident location on an interactive map. Subscribers can also choose to be notified of incidents by type and monitor emergency radio traffic via PulsePoint, which acts as a modern version of the traditional fire scanner.

About the PulsePoint Foundation
PulsePoint is a 501(c)(3) public non-profit foundation based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through the use of location-aware mobile devices, PulsePoint is building applications that work with local public safety agencies to improve communications with citizens and professional emergency responders, increase civic engagement and engage the community to help reduce the millions of annual deaths from sudden cardiac arrest. Learn more at pulsepoint.org or join the conversation at Facebook and Twitter. The free app is available for download on iTunes and Google Play.

About Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Although a heart attack can lead to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), the two are not the same. SCA is when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating unexpectedly, whereas a heart attack is when blood flow to the heart is blocked, but the heart continues to beat. Each year, more than 326,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur, making it the leading cause of death in the United States. Survival rates nationally for SCA are less than eight percent, but delivery of CPR can sustain life until paramedics arrive by maintaining vital blood flow to the heart and brain. However, only about a third of SCA victims receive bystander CPR. Without CPR, brain damage or death can occur in minutes. The average EMS response time is nine minutes, even in urban settings; after 10 minutes there is little chance of successful resuscitation. The American Heart Association estimates that effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after SCA, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.