A smartphone app alerted the off-duty lieutenant of the nearby emergency on Friday.

A medical emergency outside of a Forest Grove elementary school on Friday, Feb. 8, could have had a different ending if it weren't for a smartphone app.

Just before 3 p.m. Friday, an app called PulsePoint notified an off-duty Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue lieutenant that someone was suffering from cardiac arrest in front of Harvey Clarke Elementary School.

"Crews are working a serious medical emergency in front of Harvey Clarke School, this is NOT a student. This is an adult who suffered a medical issue while in a car on B Street. B is closed north of 26th Avenue for at least 30 more minutes," Forest Grove Fire & Rescue said in a post on Facebook Friday.

"The free app notifies subscribers of a cardiac arrest patient nearby, directs them to the location, and guides them to perform the lifesaving skill until emergency responders arrive," TVF&R public affairs chief Cassandra Ulven said. "Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue has been using the app for more than six years with great success, and fire agencies across the region are using PulsePoint to alert willing civilian responders."

The app only alerts people if the cardiac arrest is taking place in a commercial or public place, FGF&R spokesman Matt Johnston said. There is a separate app owned by the same company that informs people of automated external defibrillators nearby, he said. In this case, the lieutenant who responded to the incident lived close to the school.

"Special thanks to the staff, students, and (parents) of the school for being extremely helpful and patient today," FGF&R said in its Facebook post. "This call was at the dismissal time, which is always a busy one, and the staff at the school did an exceptional job (of) helping us out while working through their emergency procedures. We tip our hats to all involved today."

By Olivia Singer
Reporter, Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Follow Olivia at @oliviasingerr
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