Local first responders push for community to help save lives with app

Lynchburg firefighters hosting free hands-only CPR classes for public

By Magdala Louissaint - Lynchburg Bureau Reporter

LYNCHBURG, Va. - If you go into cardiac arrest in Lynchburg, your chances of surviving are a little over 50%, according to the fire chief. 

"We want to further that and try to increase that percentage of survival by adding in Pulse Point as a way for our community to get involved," Fire Chief Greg Wormser said.

Pulse Point is a free crowdsourcing app. 

"It gives you the opportunity to respond to these calls should the response be needed for CPR," Wormser said.

The Lynchburg Fire Department launched it about a year ago to help connect CPR certified people with those in dire need. 

"This is just another way that, here at the Lynchburg Fire Department, we can get services to the community that much more quickly," Wormser said.

To push out the app, firefighters are hosting free hands-only CPR classes for the public. They are also teaching the proper technique for chest compressions.

"And if she goes way too fast, it should start flashing yellow, See?," Wormser said while watching a participant perform chest compressions.

Firefighters said one way to develop muscle memory is to sing the song, 'Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees. The compressions should match the beat of the song.

"Because the great compression that we do will certainly extend the life until first responders can arrive," Wormser said.

So far this year, first responders have been sent to 53 CPR-related calls.

Firefighters said they've had some citizens arrive at the scene because they were notified through the app, but that the more people certified, the better.

"Besides our own people, they're the first on the scene oftentimes. They're the ones calling 911. They're the ones with their neighbor, loved one," Wormser said

The department is teaching a CPR class on Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. at  the Daniel's Hill Community Center.

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