Some Chicagoland Fire Chiefs Don’t Know About PulsePoint, Why?

Some Fire Chiefs Have Never Heard of PulsePoint, and Only One Fire Department in Chicagoland Has Implemented PulsePoint

PulsePoint is a mobile phone application that allows users to view and receive alerts on emergency 911 calls dispatched to fire departments and emergency medical services. Pulsepoint’s main feature, sends alerts to users at the exact same time that dispatchers send the call to emergency crews. The goal of the PulsePoint app is to increase the possibility that a victim in cardiac arrest will receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) quickly, when CPR/AED is most effective.

Each year, approximately 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside a hospital setting in the United States. Nearly 90 percent of these events prove fatal, and the chance of survival decreases by ten percent with every passing minute without CPR.

The PulsePoint app uses the current location of a PulsePoint user and alerts them if an emergency call possibly requiring CPR in a public place is received in their vicinity.

The PulsePoint app, which interfaces with a fire department’s dispatch center, will send notifications to users only if the victim is in a public place and only to users that are in the immediate vicinity of the emergency.

The application was originally released in the Apple App Store in April, 2010. The first release of the app did not contain the location-aware CPR/AED notification capability. That functionality came in a subsequent version released for the Apple iPhone on January 25, 2011.

Development of the PulsePoint app began in June, 2009 as a partnership between the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District (SRVFPD) and the College of Informatics at Northern Kentucky University (NKU).

While many suburbs provide excellent paramedics service and fire suppression services for their residents in Illinois, only Naperville Fire Department has activated a PulsePoint AED/CPR program in Illinois (See US Locations Implemented Page:

“The IAFC considers the deployment of PulsePoint to be a best practice in fire and EMS and we look forward to helping our member agencies implement the technology. Recognizing the excruciatingly short window of opportunity to intervene during cardiac arrest, we need to reinforce the importance of improving the utilization of CPR-trained community members and off-duty personnel.”

— John Sinclair, President of the IAFC

An informal survey of some fire chiefs in Chicagoland in August 2017 found that some fire chiefs have never heard of PulsePoint. In July 2017 the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the PulsePoint Foundation (PulsePoint) announced a strategic partnership to reinforce the use of mobile phones and apps to connect nearby CPR-trained citizens and off-duty professional responders with people in cardiac arrest. The collaboration also endeavors to develop strategies for utilizing public safety data in new and innovative ways. The alliance was highlighted at Fire-Rescue International, the annual conference and expo of the IAFC held in Charlotte, NC, July 26-29, 2017.

Each year, approximately 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside a hospital setting in the United States. Nearly 90 percent of these events prove fatal, and the chance of survival decreases by ten percent with every passing minute without CPR.

Thomas Jenkins, IAFC First Vice President and Fire Chief of Rogers (Arkansas) Fire Department, emphasized the importance of PulsePoint to his community: “In Rogers, we have seen PulsePoint bring together the best of citizenship, technology, and medical care to save lives from cardiac arrest.”

“In addition to its flagship capability of summoning CPR assistance, the PulsePoint app displays other emergency activity occurring in the community. For on duty crews this can significantly improve situational awareness and confirm the real-time communication center connection to the public,” said Deputy Chief Billy Goldfeder, International Director of the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section. “This makes the app much more interesting and engaging for citizens and off-duty personnel—ultimately increasing the size of the network available for cardiac arrest response.”

“TVF&R was the first fire department in Oregon to launch the PulsePoint app for citizen responders and over the past four years we have witnessed firsthand its ability to save lives. We are now the first agency to pilot the professional version of the app, Verified Responder, which based on results to date, may mark the beginning of a national initiative with the help of the IAFC. Having lost my own father from sudden cardiac arrest, I am personally and professionally committed to sparing other families from potential heartbreak.”

— Mike Duyck, WFCA Director and Fire Chief of Tualatin Valley (Ore.) Fire & Rescue

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area PulsePoint is run by a non-profit foundation of the same name.

First responders agree seconds can save lives. A new app is working to trim response times by rushing ordinary people directly to someone who needs CPR. And it’s working. The PulsePoint app is already credited with saving two lives! Even if you’re not CPR-trained, the app gives you simple instructions to administer life-saving chest compressions on the spot.


Stay informed with news from’s Emergencies Behind the Scenes Facebook page — Includes links to favorite public safety and emergency rescuers and product manufacturers and safety companies that have Facebook pages. Submit your pictures or just stay up-to-date on with fire, rescue, EMS and police photo galleries. Please add your public safety photo to the timeline, or send a message to the page.

March 27th 2013, TVF&R’s PulsePoint mobile app notified three nearby citizen responders that someone near their location was in need of CPR. Heather Roms, who is an RN for Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland, was just leaving a nearby business when she received the PulsePoint notification on her smartphone. Heather responded and began CPR until EMS crews arrived.

PulsePoint is launching throughout Spokane County on February 14, 2014. This exciting IOS and Android smartphone app will automatically alert CPR trained bystanders to someone nearby having a sudden cardiac arrest that may require CPR. The app shows the location of the victim and closest Automated External Defibrillator.

City of Vancouver PulsePoint App promotional video.

Los Angeles County Fire announces the arrival of an innovative new smartphone application called PulsePoint in August 2014.

The Verdugo Communications Center announces the launch of the PulsePoint Respond mobile app on December 6, 2016.

CTIA Wireless Foundation showcased how wireless technology improves lives and enhances communities. Watch highlights including the Drive Smart Teen Digital Short Contest, Los Angeles PulsePoint Launch and Mobile Health & Wellness Expo at the FCC & FDA.

Los Angeles Fire Department PulsePoint press conference at Woodrow Wilson High School in the City of Los Angeles on March 4, 2015.

Miami Beach Fire Department is the first in Dade County to use the Pulse Point app.

See also …

JEMS International Association of Fire Chiefs and PulsePoint Foundation Announce Global Strategic Partnership to Increase Cardiac Arrest Survival Rates