By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s designed to be faster than a first responder. A new smart phone app will connect heart attack victims with the closest person trained in CPR.

Alex DeMetrick reports.

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CPR training was staged for the cameras in Howard County, which is looking for volunteers who are CPR certified.

It’s all part of a roll-out of a new smart phone app called Pulse Point, which will connect heart attack victims with the nearest trained CPR provider.

“When there’s a cardiac arrest emergency, they’ll be alerted if they’re within a quarter mile of the emergency. Once the user’s alerted, it gives not only the location of the emergency but also the location of where the nearest defibrillator is and even shows a picture of where the defibrillator is located on the actual property itself,” said Howard County Fire medical director Dr. Matthew Levy.

It’s set in motion when a cardiac case is called into Howard County’s 911, making trained bystanders faster than first responders.

“For every minute that goes by following a cardiac arrest, survival goes down upwards of 10%,” Levy said.

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This app has had widespread use on the West Coast but Howard County is the first jurisdiction in Maryland to adopt it.

To work, trained volunteers need to sign up for the Pulse Point app. To drive the importance home, a heart attack survivor saved by a stranger before the app began spoke.

“And if not for a bystander who did CPR on me until the paramedics arrived, I would not be here today,” said cardiac arrest survivor Mike Greenhill.

And someone who helped save a woman’s life spoke, as well.

“And I can tell you what a great feeling it was. I’m happy for her; I’m happy for myself that I didn’t just walk away,” said CPR provider Marc Crumback.

The new app could bring others rushing in to help.

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Howard County and Jersey City, New Jersey, are the first jurisdictions on the East Coast to adopt the Pulse Point app.