Life-saving app rolled out in Akron

AKRON, OH (WOIO) - People in Akron now have access to an app that could save lives.

It's called PulsePoint. The app gives you information and alerts about serious medical emergencies, like cardiac arrests, happening near you. After someone calls 911 and paramedics are on their way, the app is updated. No information is given for private residences, but in public places, that information could save lives.

That's because nearly 90 percent of people who suffer a cardiac arrest outside of the hospital won't survive it. However, with CPR, those odds go up significantly.

"We've had some cities report as much as a sixty percent survivability when they have a very aggressive citizen CPR program in place," said Akron Fire District Chief Joe Natko. "That's where we're going with this. We really hope for a big change in our cardiac arrest survivability here in the City of Akron."

First responders are encouraging the general public to learn CPR, and they'll be out at public events throughout the summer, showing citizens how to perform the chest compressions that could save lives. It's generally taught that mouth to mouth is not needed for effective CPR.

Dan Flowers, President of the Akron Canton Regional Food Bank, saw the power of CPR firsthand one day, when a volunteer had a heart attack. Lucklily, staffers knew CPR.

"This wasn't the first time someone's had a heart attack  at the food bank. It's happened on two other occasions, where we as staff members have performed CPR," said Flowers. "I think that's what's caused us to ramp up our training, just because we've seen these things happen to us here, too. They can happen anywhere."

Because time is of the essence in an emergency situation, emergency responders hope that if you're closer than they are, you'll be able to step in and help.

You can find the app on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

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