Emergency officials in Putnam County are urging residents who are trained to give CPR and use an automated external defibrillator to sign up for an app that could help response times.
The county recently launched the Pulsepoint app, which would allow the Putnam County 911 Center to alert citizens who are near a potential cardiac arrest victim of the incident.
"The Pulsepoint app allows us to engage anyone trained in CPR and notify them someone might need the help they are trained to provide. It really embraces the entire community in helping to potentially save someone's life," said 911 Director Mike Thompson.
Any trained resident can download the app on the app store. It will ask the person to verify they are trained in CPR and the use of an AED.
It will give the option to choose which community and will be notified of alerts within the quarter mile radius of the incident.
Additionally, the app will also provide other emergency calls that are in the 911 dispatch system. The app's dashboard will display medical and fire and rescue service calls.
The app will also work in other parts of the country that participate in the app.
"We consider this app and its users valuable tools to help us provide prompt treatment to cardiac arrest victims." said Tennessee Heart Cardiologist Dr. Brian Dockery. "This app will enable CPR-trained citizens to provide lifesaving treatment to their neighbors until EMS arrives. It also informs its users of the nearest AED while they are responding."
Thompson said the 911 center can receive up to eight cardiac-related calls in a 24 hour period.
Responding to a victim, even from everyday citizens, can be crucial.
"Brain damage occurs within four to six minutes after the heart stops beating," said Thompson.
Pulsepoint was purchased through a partnership among Putnam County 911, the Cookeville Regional Charitable Foundation, Tennessee Heart, and Meded Hearts - Cookeville Chapter. The agencies partnered together to help pay the initial fee of $10,000 to launch the app.
There will be additional fees of $8,000 every year.
It's important to note that it deploys for public cases, not individual homes.
Out of the 75,000 people in Putnam County, officials hope 5,000 of them would download the app.