Applaud Oregon Fire & Rescue District for Use of New Life-Saving App

Target: Governor of Oregon, John Kitzhaber

Goal: Applaud Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue for implementing use of the new life-saving community based smartphone app.

On January 29th, 2013, Taulatin Valley Fire & Rescue workers connected their 911 call center to the crowd-sourced PulsePoint smartphone app that alerts CPR-trained individuals across their entire service area of medical emergencies nearby where they can perform lifesaving chest compressions and resuscitation. Anyone who lives, works or travels in TVF&R’s 220-square-mile service zone can download the app and be immediately alerted to medical rescue opportunities in the future. Applaud TVF&R for beginning use of this app in their service area, helping to save lives and setting an example for other regions to follow suit.

The fire department, based in the city of Tigard, Oregon, serves about 450,000 residents, and has a long-standing goal of raising survival rates for cardiac patients. PulsePoint is an important step to making this critical difference. The app issues alerts whenever a 911 operator in the district’s call center dispatches fire or emergency medical crews to circumstances where CPR may be required. These alerts go to users of the app within a quarter mile of any given situation. The app also directs users to the locations of public automated electric defibrillators (AEDs) in order to give cardiac victims the best possible chance of surviving.

The non-profit PulsePoint Foundation, founded by Richard Price, former chief of Northern California’s San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District, maintains and updates the app for free. Integration into TVF&R‘s system cost the fire department about $5,000. This will make use of the app by other departments in the area, such as Washington County, cheaper because the infrastructure is already present. Price commented on the Tigard department’s use of his foundation’s product: “TVF&R has a worldwide reputation. Others try to model what they do.” Mark Charleston, TVF&R battalion chief, said, “We see this as another way in which we can partner with the community to save even more lives.”

Price founded PulsePoint to give bystanders the chance to take advantage of the critical moments before emergency personel arrive on the scene. The average time it takes for this to happen is seven minutes. “If your heart’s not beating,” Price said, “seven minutes is an eternity.” Every minute waiting cuts a victim’s odds of survival by about 10 percent. After 10 minutes there is minimal chance of survival. Price added, “It takes courage. It takes bravery. But the app brings multiple rescuers to the scene, and when there are more people on the scene, more people find courage.”

Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue’s implementation of this app brings the entire community into the process of saving valuable human lives. It sets an example for other districts in the state and the nation. Sign this petition to ask Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber to applaud TVF&R and help raise awareness of the PulsePoint app.


Dear Governor Kitzhaber,

The Taulatin Valley Fire & Rescue department of Tigard, Oregon has recently implemented use of the new life-saving PulsePoint smartphone app. Through integration with the department’s 911 call center, subscribers to the service receive alerts of medical emergencies close to their location where they can make a critical difference through the performance of CPR and resuscitation. Users are also notified of the location of public automated electric defibrillators (AEDs) in the area. The app is free to download as it is maintained and updated by the non-profit PulsePoint Foundation.

TVF&R is bringing its entire community into the process of saving valuable lives every day. By spending $5,000 to integrate its own call center, the department has set up infrastructure making it easier for other districts, such as Washington County, to make use of this new technology. The work of TVF&R is admirable and will save the lives of many Oregon citizens. I urge you to applaud Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue for its lifesaving work, setting an example for the state and the nation.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: mloberg via Flickr

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