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CPR app helps Lincoln man save life

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Kenny Miller

Last month, Kenny Miller helped save the life of a woman when he started CPR after being alerted by an app on his phone that someone nearby was in distress.

Kenny Miller was asleep in his hotel room at 1:30 a.m. when his phone woke him up. Minutes later, he was helping save a life.

Miller, a retiree, was staying near the Lincoln Airport when the PulsePoint app alerted him to someone who needed CPR in a nearby room. He said when he arrived, a woman was on the floor without a pulse and not breathing.

"She was about the color of a piece of concrete," he said. 

Miller said he did CPR until emergency responders arrived minutes later. Lincoln Police Department Officer Erin Spilker said the woman survived, and Miller's efforts undoubtedly helped.

Lincoln Pulsepoint user first to start CPR on person in cardiac arrest

The PulsePoint app scans 911 calls and sends alerts to users within a quarter-mile of an individual that requires CPR, said Nancy Crist, public information officer for Lincoln Fire and Rescue. The app then gives instructions on how to do CPR until first responders arrive. 

Crist said the minutes between a 911 call for CPR and when rescue workers arrive can be vital. 

Emergency CPR by civilians can be likened to priming a pump, Crist said, as it increases the flow of oxygenated blood to vital organs, which in turn helps first responders resuscitate patients more effectively. The sooner chest compressions begin, she said, the higher chances of survival.

In recent years, there have been other instances of Lincoln residents successfully performing CPR, including at Union College, Crete Carrier and Pinnacle Bank Arena. Crist said it's incredibly rewarding for everyone involved when patients recover. 

"That is what we strive to do," she said, "That is why we do our jobs." 

Lincoln officer's quick action helped save 23-year-old woman who overdosed, police say

911 dispatcher Larry Huisman took the May 15 call from the hotel's front desk and was communicating with another person when Miller entered the room and began CPR. 

Dispatchers often try to direct callers on how to perform CPR, Huisman said, but that can be difficult when callers are untrained or reluctant to try. 

Huisman said CPR isn't difficult to understand or execute, and it can make a massive difference in saving lives. He said callers are often afraid to hurt patients, but any attempt at CPR is better than none.

He urged everyone to learn CPR and download PulsePoint. Having a calm, collected person trained in CPR at the scene is a great help to dispatchers, he said.  

Lincoln police use Narcan to save 2 who overdosed in separate incidents Monday

Miller, 74, said several people were involved in the 911 call response, and he was just a small part. 

"I'm not going to take all that credit," he said. 

Miller said this was the second time he's administered CPR in an emergency situation; the first time was when he came across an unresponsive man in Lincoln. He agreed that everyone should learn CPR and download PulsePoint. 

"You can help someone. You might save their life," he said. "What more do you need?" 

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News intern

A Lincoln native, Nick McConnell joined the Journal Star in 2019, covering breaking news and general assignment stories.

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