Orland Park will deploy citizens trained in CPR to emergency calls using new app PulsePoint

Stephanie Wade Image
Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Orland Park will deploy citizens trained in CPR to emergency calls
Orland Park will deploy citizens trained in CPR to 911 calls for cardiac arrest through an app called PulsePoint which has been used in Naperville.

ORLAND PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- A new program is launching in Orland Park that will alert citizens trained in CPR when they receive emergency calls about cardiac arrest near them.

Imagine if thousands of average citizens were ready and able to respond to an emergency in their community.

"People really want to help their brothers and sisters," said Orland Fire Protection District Chief Mike Schofield. "They want to help their community. But they need to know how and when."

The district launched a new app called PulsePoint that alerts people who are trained in CPR if someone is in cardiac arrest nearby.

"It alarms kind of just like an amber alert does on your phone. Very loud, audible alarm. Look at your phone, it'll tell you exactly where there's somebody in cardiac arrest within a quarter mile of your location," said EMS Coordinator Lt. Joshua Girdick.

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"If you're trained, we are sending out a message right away that somebody needs your help. And if you're there, we're not only going to tell you where it is, but we are going to tell you where the AED is. And that's going to save a life," said Schofield.

It's a big ask, but it reaps big rewards.

"It's huge. But people who want to do it are going to get involved, and those are the people you want to respond," Shofield said.

The Orland Fire Protection District is the second fire department in the region to adopt the app. Naperville has successfully utilized this technology for roughly 10 years.

"We train about 1,200 people in CPR and AED use here in Orland a year, so to be able to utilize that amount of people and add to pretty much what we have at the fire department is invaluable," Girdick said.

For a department that responds to several cardiac arrest a week, and an average response time of four and a half minutes, every second counts.

"So that's four and a half minutes that someone could get there, start providing CPR, AED use, until we get there with our defibrillators, our medications," said Girdick.

"Any of us out there that have lost someone to a cardiac arrest know the pain, and just knowing now that somebody can intervene and save a life, it's amazing," said Shofield.

While the Orland Fire Protection District covers nine suburbs, PulsePoint is launching first in Orland Park, with hopes to expand into the other areas in the future.