Nashville, Tennessee (Aug. 6, 2023) – Public safety telecommunicators utilizing APCO’s IntelliComm software can now quickly direct 9-1-1 callers during time-critical cardiac emergencies to the closest automated external defibrillator (AED). The life-saving advancement comes from the implementation of an AED geolocation plan between APCO’s IntelliComm and the PulsePoint Foundation.
he tool enables 9-1-1 telecommunicators to inform callers of the location of AEDs while using existing medical dispatch protocols within IntelliComm’s software, with no changes to workflow—saving critical time during life-threatening emergencies.
Each year in the U.S., there are approximately 360,000 Emergency Medical Services (EMS)-assessed cardiac arrests outside of a hospital and on average, less than 10 percent of victims survive. The keys to survival are early recognition, early CPR and early defibrillation. Action taken by bystanders prior to the arrival of EMS results in victims being two to three times more likely to survive.
Anyone can add an AED location to the public registry by downloading the PulsePoint AED app or by visiting the website aed.new. The AEDs are vetted by local authorities before they are shared with public safety telecommunicators or users of PulsePoint Respond, the companion app to PulsePoint AED.
The integration means public safety telecommunicators can now tell the caller the exact location of the AED—rather than ask if there’s a known AED nearby, as they had to in the past. The new integration is already being used by several emergency communications centers (ECCs), and is being integrated with Fairfield County, Ohio. Fairfield County previously won a special grant from the PulsePoint Foundation after a successful campaign that registered 238 AEDs in the community in just one month.
“APCO’s IntelliComm system equips telecommunicators with the critical information they need,” said Derek Poarch, Chief Executive Officer of APCO International. “By telling bystanders at sudden cardiac events exactly where to find an AED, telecommunicators can help save even more lives.”
“This integration is available today to any organization that uses IntelliComm,” said Richard Price, PulsePoint Foundation president. “The AED registry is a free tool, and the PulsePoint Foundation provides the app and hosted AED registry as part of its core mission to improve cardiac arrest survival.”
About APCO International® (www.apcointl.org)
APCO International is the world’s oldest and largest organization of public safety communications professionals and supports the largest U.S. membership base of any public safety association. It serves the needs of public safety communications practitioners worldwide – and the welfare of the general public as a whole – by providing complete expertise, professional development, technical assistance, advocacy and outreach. To learn more about APCO’s next generation criteria-based guidecard software, APCO IntelliComm®, Supported by IBM Watson Analytics, visit www.apcointellicomm.org.
About the PulsePoint Foundation
PulsePoint is a public 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation that builds applications for use by public safety agencies to increase community awareness during critical events. The PulsePoint Respond mobile app notifies trained individuals of the nearby need for CPR and the PulsePoint AED registry identifies AED (automated external defibrillator) locations for use by the public and 9-1-1 telecommunicators during emergency calltaking. PulsePoint also provides specialized mobile apps for professional responders. Learn more at pulsepoint.org. The free apps, PulsePoint Respond and PulsePoint AED, are available for download on the App Store 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, nearly 360,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur, making it the leading cause of death in the United States. Survival rates nationally for SCA are nearly 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.