MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) - A new app, called PulsePoint, can turn a bystander into a first responder.
Madison Fire & Rescue wants to be the first to bring this lifesaving technology to the state.
"We're anxious to have that in our community and we believe that it's time to do that," said Madison Fire & Rescue community relations director Russ Kennington.
The app alerts CPR-trained citizens when someone nearby calls 911 about a cardiac arrest.
"It recognizes those phones through GPS and it notifies them of the event and asks them to respond and gives them a map to respond from where they are to where the event occurred," said Kennington.
They can then put their skills into action and save a life.
"Fifty-seven percent of our population in the United States have been trained in CPR, yet only 11 percent of those actually use the skill," said Kennington.
The app will send notifications only if the victim is in a public place and only to potential rescuers that are in the immediate vicinity of the emergency.
"It won't sent you to someone's house because there's privacy issues there, but any event that occurs in a public place, it's going to notify the people that are in the area and get help on the way," said Kennington.
PulsePoint also provides users with a CPR tutorial and nearby Automatic External Defibrillators (AED).
The app is free to users, but Kennington says it costs about $45,000 to install the software at the 911 dispatch center, so his unit set out to start raising funds for the technology, but the money is slow to come in.
"It's going to take just little more than just a grassroots campaign," said Kennington. "We're looking really for some corporate support. We're also looking at some governmental support and agencies that are in this community that do that type of thing."
Until that funding comes in, the department will continue to fight to breathe life into this project.
"We know that this is a good thing and it's going to save lives," said Kennington, "and we believe that if we can get it out there that the people who live in our community are going to want this."
Madison Fire & Rescue is working to set up a fundraising page, until then, to donate, contact Kennington at (256) 772-3326 or firstname.lastname@example.org.