School Delays

Newport News Fire Department hopes app can be lifesaver for cardiac arrest patients

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The Newport News Fire Department wants to get the public involved to help save lives.

The department is preparing to implement a nationally-known program called PulsePoint, which interfaces with a city's dispatch system to notify nearby residents when there is a cardiac arrest at a public location nearby.

The notifications come through a downloadable phone app with a goal of getting CPR to a cardiac arrest patient as quickly as possible.

"Brain death of cardiac arrest patient occurs within six to eight minutes so this app will find the people who are the closest to a public location and then let them know," said Asst. Chief Robert Lee, head of the Newport News Fire Department's EMS division.

Lee says only those within a quarter mile of the patient will be notified and they will also receive CPR directions through the app.

The app is already in use in Chesapeake and Lee says other departments on the Peninsula and the Southside are looking into it.

The Newport News Fire Department hopes to launch the app in the next six months.