New app alerts those trained in CPR of nearby cardiac event

Life saving technology can now be in the palm of your hand if you live in Mecklenburg County. A new app hopes to send help to those in cardiac arrest before first responders arrive.

In April 2014, Paul Wylie says he was an otherwise healthy 50-year-old, until he went to workout one morning.

"In the middle of one of the sprints doubled over and fell on my face," said Wylie.

911 was called and paramedics rushed to his gym. Wylie says he had no prior heart problems.

"I was really active. I was working out all the time. That's what sudden cardiac arrest is. It's a silent killer," said Wylie.

But Wylie was able to survive because two fellow gym members performed CPR until first responders arrived.

"They saved my life that's why I am here," said Wylie.

But not everyone can be lucky enough to have those trained in CPR nearby. Mecklenburg County is trying to change that with help from a new app called PulsePoint..

When a cardiac arrest call comes in to the county 911 center those with the app, who are trained in CPR and are within a quarter mile of the call will receive a push alert. An address will pop up letting users know just how close someone is who needs life-saving CPR.

"Minutes matter and that's why this app is so critical to help us increase cardiac arrest survival," said MEDIC Deputy Director, Jeff Keith.

An ambulance can sometimes take eight to ten minutes to arrive. That's enough time to cause life-altering damage to the body.

"In the first 6 minutes of cardiac arrest I would not have brain function because the way the brain deteriorates because it's not getting enough oxygen," said Wylier.

The app even lets users know where the nearest Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is located. The service is online now in Mecklenburg County and is a free download in your app store.