In Emergency Situations, Every Second Counts
The Local Lifesavers initiative is a collaborative effort by City and County of San Francisco leaders, including City Attorney Dennis Herrera, the San Francisco Paramedic Association, Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White, the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, and a growing list of community partners and schools.
The initiative seeks to improve sudden cardiac arrest survival rates in San Francisco by successfully optimizing community response by providing free bystander CPR/AED training, creating and maintaining a city-wide AED database, and implementing innovative mobile technology that links CPR-trained volunteers, AED maps and smartphone users in an effort to save lives in the first few minutes after cardiac arrest.
There are three main elements to Local Lifesavers:
- BOLT (Basic Ongoing Lifesaving Training) offers free 90-minute trainings in basic lifesaving skills such as emergency assessment, CPR/AED, massive bleeding control, choking and allergic reactions. BOLT increases the pool of trained Good Samaritans located in San Francisco.
- Citywide AED (Automated External Defibrillator) mapping and registration. The goal is to locate, verify, and register every publicly accessible AED in San Francisco. Volunteer AED mappers are encouraged to contact the City Attorney’s Office to find out how to get involved.
- An emergency response smartphone app. This innovative system will notify Good Samaritan bystanders when a sudden cardiac arrest is occurring nearby, and tells them where the closest AED is located. The smartphone app uses GPS technology, and notifications to Good Samaritans are activated in conjunction with a 9-1-1 call response.
Why are we doing this?
- Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death in the United States and many countries around the world.
- Nearly 300,000 people die each year in the U.S. from cardiac arrest.
- Survival rates nationally for SCA are less than eight percent and brain injury begins in just a few minutes; emergency services cannot arrive fast enough to save most people – but an army of CPR-trained volunteers within access to AEDs can.
- Studies show that if defibrillation is provided within the first minute, the odds are 90 percent that the victim’s life can be saved. As many as 30 to 50 percent would survive if CPR and AEDs were used within five minutes of collapse.
- Bystander CPR and the early use of an AED are two extremely critical links in the cardiac chain of survival.
Sources: SRVFPD, American Heart Association
To learn more, visit www.LocalLifesavers.org