By Stephanie Stahl

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A new phone app can help get cardiac arrest victims fast help before emergency responders arrive.

Thirty-five hundred people trained in CPR who live in Chester County now have this app downloaded on their phones. When there is a cardiac arrest in a public place, they get an alert and if they’re close by, they can help.

An ordinary dinner at the Kennett Square Inn turned extra-ordinary when volunteer fire Capt. Bobby Abel, who was off-duty, got a notification on his Pulse Point app.

“It was CPR needed and it zoomed out, there was a map. It showed me the location where I was and the location the CPR was needed. We rushed down to help,” said Abel.

A woman was unconscious in a car and CPR was started before the emergency response team arrived.

That’s what the Pulse Point app is designed to do — get CPR-trained users to victims fast.

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“It’s a way that we can engage the citizens to get quick response for somebody in cardiac arrest emergency,” said Beau Crowding.

Sudden cardiac arrest causes more than 350,000 deaths in the United States each year — about 95 percent die because they don’t get immediate treatment.

The Pulse Point app works in conjunction with 911 calls aiming to close that critical gap between the time when a cardiac emergency is reported to 911 and the arrivals of paramedics.

“Pulse Point, it’s a great app. It’s made a significant change to the county for all the responders. It helps us a lot to get a jump start on dispatch and get to the emergency quicker,” said Bas Devries of the Longwood Fire Company.

Lt. Bas Devries was also off when his Pulse Point notification went off. He responded with Abel to save the woman in the car.

They’re emergency responders, but the app can be used by anyone trained in CPR.

It’s free to download on a phone.

Chester County hopes to get more people signed up on the lifesaving app and is offering free CPR training classes.

Stephanie Stahl