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Kingston is first city in Canada to launch life-saving PulsePoint app

March 23, 2015 -

Could you save a life?  Kingston Fire and Rescue and community partners have made Kingston the first Canadian community to introduce PulsePoint – a free mobile app that is saving lives in more than 1,100 communities in the United States.

"Kingston is proud to be the first community in Canada to introduce this life-saving app, a great example of realizing our vision as a smart and livable city," says Mayor Bryan Paterson. "Creating a local partnership to introduce this technology was the first step, now we are calling on Kingstonians who are trained in CPR to download the app." 

Launched locally today, PulsePoint in conjunction with Kingston Fire and Rescue's dispatch system will alert CPR-trained users through a free app, when someone in a nearby public place needs CPR. The app also shows alerted CPR-trained individuals where to find a public defibrillator if one is close.

Learn CPR. Download the app. Save a life

"PulsePoint gives us the ability to alert trained public near the area that someone is in cardiac distress; they can then provide CPR until emergency responders can get to the scene," says Fire Chief Rhéaume Chaput. 

He notes that Kingston's large military and healthcare communities mean that we have a large number of citizens qualified to administer CPR.

The free app is available for download on Apple or Android devices (via your app store). You can also go to www.pulsepoint.org for more information.

"The cardiac surgeon said that I would have had brain damage or died after five minutes if the AED [automated external defibrillator] hadn't been used," says sudden cardiac arrest survivor, Chet Babcock, who is alive today thanks to his hockey buddies and a defibrillator.  "Needless to say, I am a big supporter of AEDs."

Babcock's CPR-trained teammates, James McConnell and Casey Trudeau, administered CPR when he went into cardiac arrest at the INVISTA Centre. A third teammate, Mike Sears, went in search of a defibrillator. He found one with the help of Brad Amell, a volunteer firefighter who was in the foyer. They rushed back to administer the shock that likely restarted Babcock's heart. 

"Cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of preventable death with 40,000 sudden cardiac arrests in Canada each year. That's one every 13 minutes. PulsePoint saves lives by quickly connecting those who are CPR-trained with those who have suffered a cardiac arrest," says Richard Price, the PulsePoint Foundation president. Developed by Price, a former California fire chief, the app alerts users within 500 metres when a cardiac arrest occurs in a public place. It directs them to the patient location and provides CPR guidance while first responders are en route to the call.

Making PulsePoint available in Kingston required a partnership that included Kingston Fire and Rescue, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Kingston General Hospital, Queen's University and Bell Canada, which provided the necessary dispatch integration.

Dr. Steven Brooks, an emergency physician and clinician-scientist at Kingston General Hospital and Queen's University is the driving force behind the Canadian debut of PulsePoint in Kingston.

"Calling 9-1-1, starting CPR and using an AED are the most significant interventions a bystander can make when someone suffers a cardiac arrest, doubling the chances of survival," says Dr. Brooks. "Currently, the out-of-hospital survival rate for cardiac arrest is just five per cent in Canada. We can do better than this, and our hope is that PulsePoint will increase bystander intervention and help save more lives."

About the City of Kingston

The City of Kingston provides municipal services to 120,000 residents living in this visually stunning, historic city, often ranked one of the best places to live in Canada. In 2014, it was named a Top 7 Smart Community by the Intelligent Community Forum. Our vision – to become Canada's most sustainable city – focuses our efforts on: environmental responsibility, social equity, economic health and cultural vitality. Please visit www.CityofKingston.ca and join the conversation on social media.

Twitter: @CityofKingston

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCityofKingston

About the PulsePoint Foundation

PulsePoint is a 501(c)(3) 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, empowering them to help reduce the millions of annual deaths from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Deployment of the PulsePoint app can significantly strengthen the "chain of survival" by improving bystander response to cardiac arrest victims and increasing the chance that lifesaving steps will be taken prior to the arrival of emergency medical services (EMS). PulsePoint is supported by the Wireless Foundation, built and maintained by volunteer engineers at Workday and distributed by our marketing and implementation partner Physio-Control, Inc. Learn more at www.pulsepoint.org or join the conversation at Facebook and Twitter.

About Bell

Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing consumers and business customers with wireless, TV, Internet, home phone and business communications services. Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, out of home, and digital media. Bell is wholly owned by Montréal's BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). For more information, please visit Bell.ca

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Media contact: For more information contact Cindie Ashton, communications officer, 613-546-4291, ext. 3116, or call the communications department at 613-546-4291, ext. 2300.