By Lyndsie Kiebert
Bonner County commissioners voted Dec. 2 to accept a $25,000 grant to fund PulsePoint — a smartphone application designed to get CPR-certified citizens to the scene of a cardiac emergency before an ambulance can arrive.
The grant comes from the BNSF Railway Foundation.
BCEMS Medical Director Ronald Jenkins wrote the grant, which the county applied for in August. Lindsey said the costliest portion of the project will be linking up the county’s emergency dispatch system with the app. However, the grant will cover the entire cost — no county funds will be spent to implement PulsePoint, Lindsey said, adding that BCEMS is also aiming to use some of the funding to list — within the app — where the nearest AEDs are located.
As far as effectiveness, Lindsey said BCEMS personnel already have experience with PulsePoint. Once, while off duty, a BCEMS paramedic who already subscribes to the app received a PulsePoint notification while in Spokane, where the program is already in effect.
“He was off-duty, didn’t have any equipment,” Lindsey said. “He did CPR and actually saved a life — so this program does work.”
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