FAIRBANKS, Alaska - A major donation from a local service organization will help launch a new app in Fairbanks that could have a significant impact on the chances of surviving a cardiac event.
"And I just can't thank you enough, for making it possible to have more people in the right place at the right time, so more people can get miracles in their families, too. Thank you."
The Interior Fire Chiefs were given a donation of over $20,000 on Thursday by the Rotary Club of Fairbanks Advisory Fund to help launch an app in the Fairbanks area that could potentially save lives.
"PulsePoint is a free app that anybody in a PulsePoint connected community can download for free and they would get notified immediately of the need for CPR, as well as, the notification of the nearest Automatic external Defibrillator," said Chief Doug Schrage, University Fire Dept.
Chief Schrage says that people can download the app now, but it will not be connected to the PulsePoint community. The grant will provide the means to connect Fairbanks to the app.
"What this grant does is it will start the project management team. They'll send people to Fairbanks to help configure our 9–1–1 system and make Fairbanks into a PulsePoint connected community," said Schrage.
On the panel of speakers was J. R. Lewis. Lewis' son suffered a cardiac event in 2013. Due to the immediate action of a nurse and student lifeguard who were present, his son survived. Lewis said any technology like PulsePoint that can increase the chances of survival is worth the time, effort and money.
"Every advance that we're able to make to shorten that time between when somebody has an event and when they get care makes a difference," said J. R. Lewis.
JR went on to introduce his son, Robbie, who stepped up to the podium after having only an 8% chance of survival at the time of his incident.
"The only reason I'm standing here, today, is because there were bystanders in that hall to do CPR and keep me alive. And you are increasing that chance by orders of magnitude by putting this app in place, so thank you. Thank you," said Robbie Lewis.
Chief Schrage says the app should officially become active for the Fairbanks area in 12 weeks.