Earlier this summer, Seattle-based Medic One Foundation introduced PulsePoint, an app that turns ordinary citizens into life-saving responders.

Photo courtesy PulsePoint via Facebook

Photo courtesy PulsePoint via Facebook

The app, which is free to download and available on iOS and Android, alerts CPR-trained individuals when someone within a quarter-mile of their vicinity is experiencing cardiac arrest.

After a 911 call is made, an operator sends out a PulsePoint alert. The alert notifies PulsePoint responders in the area of the cardiac arrest victim’s location. Available responders then can rush to the scene and help the victim until professional help arrives.

Medic One Foundation said the app is effective is because PulsePoint responders often can administer CPR in the critical life-saving minutes before first responders arrive on the scene.

Since the app launched in August, Medic One Foundation said PulsePoint has been downloaded about 5,000 times and already has been credited with saving lives. The organization currently is urging others with CPR training to download the app and help Medic One Foundation reach its goal of 15,000 downloads before the end of the year.

“The app is only effective if people download it,” said Dr. Michael Sayre, Seattle Medic One medical director and University of Washington professor of emergency medicine.

“As of Nov. 1, we’ve sent 27 alerts and 216 people were alerted,” said Sayre. “We have a lot of people who are engaged, but we know not everyone is always available, which is why we need more people.”

Photo courtesy PulsePoint via Facebook

Photo courtesy PulsePoint via Facebook

Sayre said high school students, people who work in the medical field, and anyone who has received recent CPR training should consider downloading the app.

Medic One Foundation said about two-thirds of cardiac arrest victims in King County receive bystander CPR, which can double their chances of survival. The organization said PulsePoint responders can help raise that number.

Seattle and King County aren’t the only places using the PulsePoint app. Other cities have adopted PulsePoint, including San Jose, California; Miami Beach, Florida; and Houston, Texas, to name a few. For a full list of PulsePoint-connected agencies and areas and for more general information, visit PulsePoint.org. Want to become a PulsePoint responder but don’t know CPR? Visit Medic One Foundation’s website to learn about CPR training opportunities near you.