CLARK COUNTY, IN (WAVE) - The Clark County Health Department is pushing for locations with defibrillators to sign up for a new app.
PulsePoint is a tool used nationwide to connect resources in the tense moments of cardiac arrest.
The app has not been rolled out yet, but the first phase is getting people to sign up to create a network. Once the app goes live, a notification will be sent the moment dispatch is notified of a public incident. Those who are CPR-certified will be notified to assist while EMS is on its way.
“Usually, now everybody has a smart phone and are used to getting notifications on Facebook,” Fire Chief Mark Furnish said.
Furnish said in his rural community of Monroe Township, this is a game changer. In Monroe Township, there aren’t any ambulances and response times can be up to 30 minutes.
The app also notes where all defibrillators are located in a community as a reference point. Health officials always say every minute counts, and creating a network of information that includes defibrillator and volunteer locations can be the difference between life and death.
"It’s important for trained people to try to get on the scene as quickly as they can and try to render assistance,” Furnish said.
In 42 other states, PulsePoint will send out notifications to user who are signed up and trained in CPR. They will then have the option to volunteer and help while EMS is on the way.
“For this program to be successful, we have to get these AED’s registered, we need to get more AEDs in our community," Doug Bentfield with the Clark County Health Department said.
Bentfield said getting the public to sign up near defibrillator locations will help when an emergency happens. The app will let you know where a lifesaving tool is located near you.
“I don’t see a lot of that in our rural areas,” Bentfield said.
PulsePoint won’t remedy lack of defibrillators or slow response times, but it will connect users with the closest option. That makes a big difference during a cardiac arrest.
“You can get somebody doing compression and get the person breathing and blood flowing, the better off the changes of survival are,” Furnish said.
The app should be live for the public to use in January, Bentfield said. The Health Department will cover the $25,000 startup costs with grant money.
Click here for more information about PulsePoint.
This story will be updated.