City of Kent Partners With Kent State and UH to Launch New Lifesaving Tool
Sudden cardiac arrest, when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating, is the leading cause of natural death in the United States. It claims an estimated 325,000 lives each year. When the heart stops beating, every second counts to get the person the help they need. If not treated quickly, sudden cardiac arrest usually results in death.
To help people survive from sudden cardiac arrest, the city of Kent has partnered with Kent State University and University Hospitals Portage Medical Center to offer PulsePoint Respond. PulsePoint Respond is a smartphone app designed to support public safety agencies working to improve cardiac arrest survival rates through improved bystander performance and active citizenship. The app empowers citizens to provide lifesaving assistance to victims of sudden cardiac arrest.
“PulsePoint allows residents to receive a notification that someone is close by – within a quarter mile – who needs CPR,” explained Kent Fire Chief John Tosko. “So once someone receives a notification, they will get the address and directions on how to get there. The receiver can reply whether they are responding to the emergency. The app directs them to the nearest AED (automated external defibrillator) and provides a picture of where it is located. It also provides directions on how to use the AED and give CPR. Once Kent Fire gets on the scene, the alert is canceled.”
PulsePoint Respond alerts are only for public areas and outdoor spaces. Private residences are not included.
Tosko explained that UH Portage Medical Center approached him about the app and provided the initial support funding and guidance for the project. Tosko then approached Kent State to get involved.
“Since the city of Kent provides our emergency medical services on campus, this will give our community additional tools to help those individuals going into cardiac arrest better chances of survival,” said Dean Tondiglia, Kent State police chief and director of public safety. “The Kent State Department of Public Safety’s part in this is providing the server to host the application and location information for our AEDs.”
The Kent Fire Department entered AED information, including location and pictures, into the app. Kent State has more than 40 AEDs on campus, including at the Warren Student Recreation and Wellness Center, Kent Student Center, Dix Stadium and the Kent State University Airport in Stow. Kent State police officers also have an AED in their police cruisers.
“Studies have shown for years now that early defibrillation and CPR greatly increase survival rates of cardiac arrest victims,” Tosko said. “This app really increases the chances of survival. The goal is to get someone to respond in a minute.”
The PulsePoint Respond app is now available in the Apple App Store and on Google Play. When looking for the nearest location, choose Kent Fire Department. The app is free.
“This is another level of support to the community,” Tondiglia said. “We appreciate UH and the city of Kent for providing this additional resource and tool to our community.”
With February being American Heart Month, Tosko hopes to raise awareness about the new lifesaving tool. He plans to encourage residents to get the app and to help their neighbors. He will have the help of four Kent State interns who are going to perform community outreach, get AEDs into more buildings and train community members on hands-only CPR and AED operation.
“This is an ongoing process to get people to download the PulsePoint Respond app with the goal of actively engaging the community to increase the number of people trained in lifesaving measures,” Tosko said.
For more information about PulsePoint Respond, visit www.pulsepoint.org/pulsepoint-respond.
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Dean Tondiglia (right), Kent State University police chief and director of public safety, goes through the PulsePoint Respond app on his phone while Kent Fire Chief John Tosko (left) looks on with an automated external defibrillator (AED) in front of him.