Off-duty Olathe firefighters can now respond to cardiac calls wi - KCTV5

Off-duty Olathe firefighters can now respond to cardiac calls with AEDs

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The Olathe Fire Department is one of the first departments in the country to provide AEDs to off-duty firefighters to help save lives.(KCTV5) The Olathe Fire Department is one of the first departments in the country to provide AEDs to off-duty firefighters to help save lives.(KCTV5)
OLATHE, KS (KCTV) -

The Olathe Fire Department is one of the first departments in the country to provide AEDs to off-duty firefighters to help save lives.

“I went to raise up my hood, and I flat-lined there on my front porch and that’s when the firefighters went into action," cardiac arrest survivor Rob Shipley said.

It was five years ago this week that Shipley had a heart attack. He says if it wasn’t for firefighters having an AED, he probably wouldn’t be here today.  

Now, the fire department is launching a new program geared towards responding to heart attacks faster.

"Last year, 64 percent of our sudden cardiac arrest occurred in the home, and every minute that goes by that there's no intervention, chance of survival decreases by 7-10 percent," Olathe Fire Department Capt. Mike Hall said.

It works by downloading a free app called PulsePoint.

“Right there is the Olathe Fire Department. These are all the calls we are running right now. It’s the same thing that would notify the verified responder. We jump into settings, and we can see ... because it shows I'm verified. So, if there is a sudden cardiac arrest in a home, and I’m a quarter mile away, it will go ahead and notify me and we can start moving to that location," Hall said.

That means firefighters can actually go into your home and start CPR if you send an alert on the app.

As of today, one-third of the department will carry around AEDs. There are 20 in all and that means getting to you in an emergency, faster.

“It’s such a proactive step in helping to provide a service that is just so invaluable and what an asset for any community. I’m very excited," Shipley said.

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