The Merced Fire Department set up five defibrillators this week around the city that officials hope could be used by bystanders to help victims of heart failure.
The five automated external defibrillators, which have been placed in public spaces and marked with an “AED” sign, are part of smartphone-based program launched last year by public safety officials around Merced County.
The free PulsePoint smartphone application teaches people how to administer “hands only” cardiopulmonary resuscitation, which officials say takes about five minutes to learn. Then the app alerts users when someone goes into sudden cardiac arrest within half a mile of their location, as well as the location of the defibrillator.
The app is tied into the local 911 dispatch system and can send smartphone users a notification at the same time as public safety officials within the county.
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The use of an automated external defibrillator in conjunction with CPR from a bystander can triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival, according to fire officials.
Merced City Hall has two defibrillators, while the Merced Senior Community Center, Applegate Park Zoo and Merced Tourist Information Center each have one device.
The PULSE program, which stands for Public and Professionals Unified Life Saving Effort, is a collaborative effort between Merced Fire Department, Riggs Ambulance Service, Mercy Medical Center and the Merced Police Department. It was launched in January 2014.
The app is available for download on any iPhone or Android device by searching for “PulsePoint Foundation.”
Merced residents interested in CPR or defibrillator training can call the Fire Department at (209) 385-6891.
AT A GLANCE
Locations with automated external defibrillators
- Merced City Hall, 678 W. 18th St.
- Merced Senior Community Center, 775 W. 15th St.
- Merced Tourist Information Center, 710 W. 16th St.
- Applegate Park Zoo, 1045 W. 25th St.