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‘Heart month’ shines light on CPR training, Pulse Point program

The West St. Louis County Chamber of Commerce and Metro West Fire Protection District will hold a CPR training session at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28 at the Wildwood Hotel.

The training will be conducted as part of the chamber’s regular monthly meeting where Metro West Fire Chief Mike Krause will be the guest speaker. Admission to the meeting is $25 for chamber members; $30 for nonmember guests. There is a $5 surcharge for registration less than
48 hours prior to the luncheon and for walk-ins. To register, visit westcountychamber.com or call (636) 230-9900.

February is recognized as Heart Month and this year’s observance will be the first since PulsePoint was launched by Metro West and other districts dispatched by the Central County Emergency 911 [CCE] center in Ellisville.

Under the PulsePoint program, any person who knows CPR can register to be included in its network and [via a smartphone app] be alerted if someone nearby has suffered a sudden cardiac arrest, enabling them to assist that person until emergency medical personnel arrive on the scene.

Krause will talk about PulsePoint, its proven ability to save lives and the training needed to register as a volunteer.

Mike Thiemann, Metro West division chief for external affairs and emergency management, said the number of PulsePoint volunteers has increased steadily since the program began late last year.

“There are so many apps for smartphones these days, but we believe this one is unique because it calls people to action to save lives,” Thiemann asserted.

He added that he received a PulsePoint alert recently while vacationing in Florida. “So there’s no doubt the system works, even if you are far from home,” he said. 

Responding to the alert, Thiemann found the cardiac arrest victim already had regained consciousness and was waiting for emergency medical personnel, who arrived soon thereafter.

Tailored for both iOS [Apple] and Android devices, the app, along with registration information, is available at the PulsePoint website.

Automated external defibrillator [AED] locations in the CCE service area also are being recorded as part of the PulsePoint program so that volunteers know if that equipment is close by. 

“We know there are many AEDs out there but we need to know the specifics of where they are so the information can be put in our database and made available to PulsePoint volunteers,” Thiemann said.

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