St. Louis County joins PulsePoint network to provide faster CPR response

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Sheriff's Office • 100 North Fifth Avenue West • Duluth, MN 55802
Phone: (218) 726-2340 •

Ross Litman

Date: October 18, 2022

Media Contact: Brandon Silgjord
(218) 336-4344

St. Louis County joins PulsePoint network for faster CPR response

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office announced today that it has joined the PulsePoint network. PulsePoint Respond is an app and a nationwide service that supports emergency responders and makes it easier for bystanders to help a person experiencing cardiac arrest until medical responders arrive.

How PulsePoint works is - when a call is placed to 911 of a person experiencing possible cardiac arrest, the 911 emergency communications specialist will dispatch the appropriate first responders. At the same time, an automatic alert will go out to anyone who has downloaded the free PulsePoint app on their smart phone who is within the near vicinity, so that they could begin CPR until first responders arrive. The app also will provide information on the location of any nearby Automatic External Defibrillators (AED). 

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of preventable death. When a person experiences SCA, their chances of survival decrease by 7-10% for every minute that passes before help arrives.

"PulsePoint is a great new tool that will save lives in St. Louis County," said Supervising Deputy Brandon Silgjord of the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office. "As large as our county is, response times can take longer, especially when weather may be bad. So we are thankful to Arrowhead EMS, which funded this program for us."

"To be clear, PulsePoint does not replace first responders," said Duluth Fire Chief Shawn Krizaj. "Rather, it is a way for the public to help until we get there. People should still call 911 if they see an emergency. We will still respond. Ambulances will still respond. But this is a way for people to start giving CPR sooner and hopefully save a life."

PulsePoint only sends alerts for medical emergencies occurring in public locations. Notifications are not sent when an incident happens in a private home.

Two related announcements were made during Tuesday's news conference. Thanks to a grant from the University of Minnesota School of Resuscitation Medicine, all marked St. Louis County Sheriff's patrol vehicles now are equipped with an AED device.

An additional component of PulsePoint is it offers a second app for people to register the location of AED devices. This information is shared with emergency responders and nearby citizens through the Pulse Point app for use when a cardiac emergency occurs. During October, which is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month, PulsePoint is offering an incentive contest. Anyone who registers an AED device is entered in a drawing to win one of 10 gift cards, each worth $500.

Both the PulsePoint Respond and the PulsePoint AED app are available for download from the iPhone App Store and Google Play.

PulsePoint news conference

At a news conference Tuesday, the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office announced it has launched the PulsePoint Respond app to provide faster assistance to people experiencing cardiac arrest. Shown L-R are: Adela Alvarez, a cardiac arrest survivor; Duluth Fire Chief Shawn Krizaj; St. Louis County Sheriff's Supervising Deputy Brandon Silgjord; Christine Erickson and Kraig Erickson from PulsePoint Foundation; and Dr. Todd Struckman, St. Luke's Emergency Medicine Physician.

PulsePoint graphic

AED app screen shot

A screen shot from the PulsePoint AED app shows the locations of AEDs within the St. Louis County Courthouse in Duluth.