Sioux Falls Residents Use App to Help Save Lives

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- Experts say in the United States someone dies every two minutes from cardiac arrest. The Sioux Falls Fire Department says by residents downloading an app they have the potential to save someone’s life. It’s already making a difference in Sioux Falls.

The app Pulse Point allows residents to help out in public places until emergency services get there. It notifies people when someone needs cpr within walking distance of them.

“If you could get good CPR started immediately after collapse there chances of survival increases two to three times as much. So that tells you a lot. We can’t be there instantly for everyone who collapses, but obviously right everyday citizens if they’re in a public location they have the potential to be right there,” said Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Division Chief, Jeff Helm.

The process is fairly simple. All you have to do is download the app and click accept to the CPR notifications. You don’t have to be CPR certified, but you do need to have knowledge on how to do it. Pulse Point has video tutorials online or you can contact your local fire department to teach you.

The app also shows where the closest public defibrillator is located.

Since it became available to Sioux Falls in 2013, 16 thousand people have already downloaded it.

Division Chief Helm says the fire department doesn’t have exact numbers, but that the app has made an impact.

“Everytime we have one (cardiac arrest call) we have eligible respondents, public civilians that are eligible to respond to those, so they’re engaged. That lets us know they want to help and it has. Across the country it has made a difference in saving lives,” said Helm.

There are also other helpful features within the app.

“It also engages everyday citizens in the community on what’s going on around them.”

Notifying people of emergencies like fires and traffic collisions.

The app is available for anyone to download, however the CPR feature only works in Sioux Falls and some surrounding communities like Colton, Garretson, Dell Rapids and Baltic.

The fire department is excited about a new feature within the app that they tested out this past year. It allows off-duty EMS workers to be notified of a cardiac arrest happening in a residence or other private location.


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