Richmond's Pulse Point connects people who know CPR

Richmond's Pulse Point connects people who know CPR

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Public Automated External Defibrillator (AED) devices are popping up everywhere - but would you know how to use one if someone has a heart attack?

Andy Inge can't help but glance over at the AED on the wall at the the Virginia Department of Health Professions. A 16-year volunteer at a rescue squad, he's used them often to save lives. He even trains others in the office.

"It's not a device that really you can mess up the use of," says Inge.

He showed us how easy it is to use and how the device walks you through the steps.

"You never know when something's going to happen. 326,000 people a year, dying of cardiac arrest in a public place. You could be next to one of those people," said Inge.

There are already Good Samaritan laws on the books in Virginia that protect you from being sued if you ever needed to help someone. Now Richmond is leading the way with a new pilot program.

There's an app that connects the city, called Pulse Point.

"This is all about saving lives, and in the case of cardiac arrest, every second counts," said Rob Lawrence with Richmond Ambulance Authority.

You download it on your phone and it alerts you when you are within 500 yards of a cardiac arrest in the city. It will also alert you to the location of the closest AED - so you can bring it.

"The sooner we can initiate a defibrillator shock, the better the outcome - not only for the heart, but also the brain," said Lawrence.

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