By Mike Schuh

Columbia, Md. (WJZ)– Most people who don’t get immediate CPR after a heart attack die, but Howard County has rolled out a new phone app that connects those who can help with those who desperately need it.

Minutes matter because CPR is an immediate need after a heart attack.

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“Every minute that someone’s in cardiac arrest, their chance of survival goes down 10 percent,” said HCDFRS medical director Dr. Matthew Levy. “Time is our enemy.”

But an EMT crew has to be nearly next door to make a difference.

Howard County paid attention when the PulsePoint Foundation came calling with a new phone app.

When 911 gets a heart attack call, an EMS crew is dispatched but the info is also automatically routed to the phone app.

“My phone just went off like crazy,” said Simone Rockstroh, who downloaded Pulsepoint because she knows CPR and thought someday she might be able to help. “And now it’s showing me where every medical emergency is.”

In June, there was a heart attack just around the corner from Rockstroh’s workplace.

“I just come in and said someone needs CPR and they just rushed me to Sean,” she said.

Sean MacGuire, 49, was on the floor turning blue.

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“Unfortunately I don’t remember anything,” MacGuire said.

“I did CPR till the paramedics came,” she said.

Medics said Sean would have died without her help.

“Yeah minutes do matter,” Rockstroh said.

The minutes were shaved by new technology.

It made my day, it made Sean’s day I guess. I was at the right place at the right time, but if it wasn’t for PulsePoint I wouldn’t have known anything,” she said.

3,000 people with CPR training in Howard County have downloaded PulsePoint.

Sean is the systems first save.

Only Prince George’s and Howard Counties have paid the yearly $10,000 fee to connect to the PulsePoint system.

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