New App Could Help You Save a Life

CBS 58— A cellphone app now available in parts of Milwaukee County could help you save a life.

In an emergency, help could be just a few feet away but you don't even know it. The app Pulse Point is working to change that. The app connects people who know CPR with emergency situations in their area.

Eight Milwaukee County fire departments teamed up to activate Pulse Point. On Monday Greenfield, West Allis and North Shore fire departments went live with the app.

Greenfield Fire Chief Jon Cohn says nationally about 46 percent of people suffering sudden cardiac arrest get CPR before emergency crews arrive. That percentage is a lot lower in Milwaukee County.

“In Milwaukee County only about 20 percent of the time is somebody getting CPR before police, fire or medical arrives,” Cohn said.

And that needs to change because when someone's heart stops beating Cohn says seconds matter.

“Studies have shown that about every minute someone's chance of survival decreases by 10 percent,” Cohn said.

The eight fire departments activating the app  include about 1 million people, plus venues like Miller Park and the Summerfest grounds.

“It’s really a community engagement tool,” Cohn said. “And maybe they end up at the right place at the right time and they can become an everyday hero.”

The app is free to download, and once you have it, you can go to settings and there's a box to check if you know CPR. Then, you'll be notified when someone's in need.

“As you move from community to community your phone will know it's location and you'll get a notification if you're within 1200 feet of somebody needing CPR,” Cohn said.

The app even has a CPR guide to help you stay calm in an emergency.

“If we can bring about better outcomes for families and even our first responders, where people can talk in to the station and say I survived a sudden cardiac arrest because of Pulse Point, that’s gonna be the moment that we celebrate,” Cohn said.

The app also tells you where the nearest AEDs are.

The eight departments are splitting the cost of the app. It was $10,000 to start it up and will be another $18,000 each year.

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