Editorial: Be someone’s hero
By Michael Murphy
Want to save someone’s life? Well, now there’s an app for that.
Thanks to a partnership between the county and city of San Diego and emergency responders— including American Medical Response — a new app is now available to San Diego County residents that will undoubtedly save lives, perhaps even someone you know.
The app, known as PulsePoint, is designed to help keep those who suffer a cardiac emergency alive.
Have you ever been to a restaurant or somewhere else and you hear a siren off in the distance, and then it gets louder and louder, closer and closer, and then you see an ambulance pull up outside?
Paramedics are usually responding to someone who’s gone into cardiac arrest.
But often there are people nearby — across the street or next door — who are trained in cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), but unaware of the emergency and unable to help.
Here’s how it works:
Using the PulsePoint app, which features the latest GPS technology, 911 dispatchers will now be able to send a text message to citizens who are trained in CPR alerting them to a nearby cardiac emergency — at the same time they dispatch an ambulance.
Those who sign up for the app and receive the notification will be able to respond quickly if they are available. They can begin administering life-saving techniques and keep the victim’s heart beating until paramedics arrive.
Without question, those first few minutes after someone goes into cardiac arrest are critical: A person’s chance of survival skyrockets when CPR is administered right then and there.
In fact, CPR almost triples one’s chances of survival.
Unfortunately, only 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims receive CPR, meaning only 8 percent are likely to survive.
The PulsePoint app will undoubtedly improve these numbers.
Our message is clear: Get trained in CPR, sign up for the PulsePoint app, and be a hero.
AMR offers free CPR training year-round. It’s easy to learn and takes only about 15 minutes.
Once you’re trained, you can sign up for the PulsePoint app by going to pulsepoint.org.
This is just one way we as a community are working together to save lives in San Diego County. Please get trained in CPR and sign up for the PulsePoint app today.
For more information about our training, go to amr-sandiego.com.
—Michael Murphy is the general manager of American Medical Response in San Diego County.
Editorial: A fresh approach to helping veterans
By Ben Aguilar, Esq.
San Diego County is known for its well-established military traditions and presence, and not surprisingly, has one of the highest concentration of veterans in the country. Many of these veterans are suffering — physically and mentally — as a direct result of the sacrifices they made for us.
According to national studies, between 22 – 50 veterans commit suicide every day. The suicide rate among veterans has doubled in the past 10 years and is twice that of the civilian population. Our veterans face serious issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, amnesia and substance abuse. Sadly, many veterans feel a sense of isolation due to lack of social support.
Recently, the Department of Veterans Affairs was the subject of a national scandal after it was reported that veterans were experiencing unreasonably long wait-times to see primary providers at VA hospitals, and more seriously, that records were being fabricated to hide that reality.
As I reflected on the plight of those who have served our nation, my thoughts were drawn to what I might do to help them. Usually my end-of-the-year reflections are triggered by the aroma of Starbucks’ pumpkin spice lattes; but this year, they have been inspired by a recent meeting I had with a gentleman who happens to share my gym, former California State Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher.
He told me about his passion to help veterans and a new organization he formed for that purpose, The Three Wise Men Foundation, and I think it’s such a great thing I want to share it with others, too.
When I learned about the foundation, I was intrigued by the fact that its main fundraising effort was an athletic competition — not the standard “rubber chicken gala” with a silent auction.
When I asked Fletcher what the rationale was behind hosting an event with an athletic component, he simply stated the obvious: Our bodies and minds benefit from physical activity and having an athletic event and fundraiser made sense in light of the alarming statistics surrounding the health and wellbeing of our nation’s veterans.
Fletcher founded The Three Wise Men Foundation as a tribute to his cousins who lost their lives during armed conflict, along with a desire to bring awareness to the issues that returning veterans face.
The Three Wise Men Foundation and various Crossfit gyms across the nation are now spearheading what they hope will be the first of many fundraisers to raise support for veterans.
As a veteran, politician, educator, businessman and Crossfit enthusiast himself, Fletcher believes this is a good opportunity for everyone to “support a good cause and gain something out of it.”
On Oct. 18, you can participate in a tribute workout honoring combat veterans who are struggling with “surviving the peace” upon their return. The tribute fundraiser will consist of a CrossFit-style athletic competition at the U.S.S. Midway Museum. The proceeds of your efforts will go directly towards organizations that directly help our returning veterans, including Courage to Call, a 24-hour hotline that provides resources and support to veterans and families of veterans.
Most workers today lead stressful, sedentary lives. It’s easy to neglect our physical and mental health. I urge you to take advantage of this great opportunity that will not only give back to our veterans but also benefit your overall health.
Think about it: You will get to be outdoors, bask in the beautiful San Diego sun, bond with your friends, family, or colleagues, and most importantly, support those who have supported us through their sacrifice and bravery. You will also have an opportunity to meet veterans and their families, hear their stories, support them in their struggles and personally thank them for their service. And, whether you participate in the competition, come to cheer someone else on, sponsor the event or purchase tickets to give as gifts, you will receive a free day-pass to the U.S.S. Midway Museum. It’s a win all the way around.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have encouraged my professional network of attorney friends to help The Three Wise Men Foundation transition into non-profit status and to help by providing pro bono or low bono legal representation to our veterans.
I want to encourage you to do the same with your time, talent and treasure. If you are moved to do so, please visit threewisementribute.org to see how you can help.
—Ben Aguilar is the owner and founder of the Law Offices of Ben Aguilar in Downtown San Diego. His law practice focuses on family law and immigration law. Mr. Aguilar may be reached at info@BenAguilarLaw.com.
It takes a village
East Village is probably one of the most livable and beautiful urban environments anywhere, but the streets sometimes get a little trashy.
I have a suggestion.
The number of dog walkers in East Village is legion. What if every dog-walker bent down and picked up one piece of trash and deposited it in the myriad of trash containers provided on the streets, just like we all do with the blue doggy poop bags?
What if every pedestrian did the same?
It would save the city a lot of money and enhance our neighborhoods … and we’d feel good about ourselves as taking pride in and contributing to our remarkable community.
Cleanliness suffers from the inattention of the clean.
—Calmeismael, via email