SAN RAMON (CBS SF) — A new cellphone app launched by fire departments throughout Contra Costa County this week is designed to give everyday citizens a chance to save lives.

The PulsePoint app notifies smartphone users who are trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and willing to respond to emergencies when someone nearby is suffering a cardiac emergency and may require CPR.

With the help of the app, trained people in close proximity to a possible cardiac emergency can begin life-saving measures that may stabilize a heart attack victim while waiting for emergency responders to arrive, according to Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Fire Marshal Lewis Broschard.

Users of the app can check their phones to see the exact location of a reported cardiac emergency and how far arriving emergency responders are from that location at any given time.

“The deployment of the PulsePoint app is the next step in developing a comprehensive network of life-saving efforts that includes fire department first responders, ambulance transport providers, the placement of publicly accessible AEDs, hospital emergency departments and members of the public who are trained in CPR,” said Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Chief Daryl Louder.

“This technology gives us the ability to notify people when and where their assistance is needed in order to help save a life in their community,” he said.

In addition to Louder’s district, the East Contra Costa, Moraga-Orinda, Crockett-Carquinez and Rodeo-Hercules fire districts, as well as the Pinole Fire Department, are all now using the life-saving app.

The app was created by the Pleasanton-based PulsePoint Foundation, which is headed by San Ramon Valley Fire Chief Richard Price.

Last September, Price went to Washington, D.C., to present the app at the White House’s “Safety Datapalooza” event.

Several Bay Area fire agencies have also incorporated the app to help connect local community members with sudden cardiac arrest victims.

Smartphone users trained in CPR may install the app by searching for “PulsePoint” in the Apple Apps Store or in Android Apps on Google Play.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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