VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — After about a month in the dark, Virginia Beach residents can once again get alerts for EMS emergency calls on an app called "PulsePoint."
“It was designed for... if you knew CPR, you would get an alert on your phone and be within a couple of thousand feet to potentially get there first and help with CPR,” said Virginia Beach EMS Chief Bruce Nedelka.
Nedelka said the app costs about $13,000 a year. Funding recently ran out in August, but that didn’t last long.
“Input from our VB rescue members, our career volunteers, and discussions with the chief,” Chief Nedelka said. “With all that there was a reallocation of funding.”
Virginia Beach EMS calls popped back up on the app in mid-September. Members of a Facebook community page tell 13News Now it’s great news.
One user said, "It helps the public stay informed with what is going on around them". Another user said, “They can see if an emergency is nearby and get help before first responders arrive.”
“At this point, our purpose and our focus is to get the word out,” Nedelka said. “In the past four years, we only had one known case of somebody responding to a scene.”
Nedelka said EMS leadership has noticed many users check the app as a scanner page to track emergencies in the city.
Now, he said they hope to inform people how to utilize the app for its intended purpose: to help folks near an emergency to jumpstart CPR while first responders are on the way.
“Find where the individual is and see if you can at least start making a difference,” Nedelka said.
The lifesaving app is free to download.
The PulsePoint app goes by the honor system when asking users if they are CPR-certified. If you are interested in getting certified, one way is through the Virginia Beach volunteer rescue squad. The organization offers free classes to the community.