PulsePoint AED app could help first responders, bystanders in need

Taking Action

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — We all know defibrillators can save lives should someone have a heart attack, but would you know where to find one in an emergency? 8News explored the ways you can connect yourself and the community to a life-saving device. 

With an app called PulsePoint AED, people can have the power to be a superhero, according to Karen Gill with Richmond’s Department of Emergency Communications. 

“That’s for anyone to use this app,” Gill said. “You don’t have to be CPR trained.” According to the American Heart Association, each year more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital. Where to find a defibrillator fast enough could be a matter of life or death. The National Safety Council says for each minute defibrillation is delayed, the chance of survival is reduced by 10%. 

“The devices are fairly easy to use, they give you automated instructions,” Gill explained. “The PulsePoint AED has the yellow heart.” 

The app allows people to quickly locate an automated external defibrillator or AED nearby in the event someone goes into cardiac arrest. People with the app can also help bystanders and first responders by updating the citywide map of AEDs in Richmond. ​​​​​​​”Because there’s really no system that tracks where they’re located. So using pulse point for the public helps the first responders be able to find them quickly because seconds count when someone is in cardiac arrest,” Gill said. 

Using the app is simple. If you come across an AED and you’ve downloaded the app, just take a photo of it and you’ve added that device to the Richmond map. 

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