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The power to save a life in the palm of your hand: How Hancock County utilizes PulsePoint

“If you're in Hancock County and you get an alert, please respond."
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Posted at 5:04 AM, Feb 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-24 11:14:52-05

HANCOCK COUNTY — The power to save a life could be in the palm of your hand.

Hancock County residents can respond to an emergency within seconds.

In 2018, Hancock County rolled out the PulsePoint app. The purpose of the app is to allow users to view and receive alerts on calls being responded to by fire departments and emergency medical services.

Greg Duda with Hancock County 911 said more than 4,000 residents have downloaded it, mainly to see why emergency vehicles are in their neighborhood.

But, the app can do so much more than that.

“We know that people have downloaded the app. We just want to make sure that people know that you check that little box with the heart logo on it,” Duda said.

By checking that box, you’re signing up to receive alerts that tell you if someone within a quarter a of mile of you goes into cardiac arrest so you can render hands-only CPR.

RELATED: 'My mom is here today because of CPR': Indiana nurse encourages everyone to learn hands-only CPR | Hoosier moms raise awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest to honor their late sons

“As soon as the 911 center receives a cardiac arrest, an alert goes out along with dispatch of the emergency services that someone is in cardiac arrest,” Duda said.

That quick response from neighbors is huge.

“We start to see irreversible brain damage within four to six minutes of not having oxygen, which is not very long,” Vice President of Hancock Health Craig Felty said.

Every year the Greenfield Fire Department goes on more than 5,000 runs. Luke Eichholtz said 90% of them are medical runs.

“The longer someone is not getting oxygen to their brain or all their vital organs, the more damage that is going to be done to them and the worse their chances of recovery are. So, if we can have someone there within 30 seconds of someone going into cardiac arrest (and) their heart stopping beating, then the chances that they wake up and can lead a normal life after that are just so much better,” Eichholtz said.

According to the app, you don’t have to know CPR to sign up for the alerts.

“We are on the phone with the person that has called 911, so if you feel like you may not know we're there to coach you through,” Duda said.

The app also has tips on how to do hands-only CPR.

READ MORE: Health officials urge the public to learn CPR, sign up for training

“If you're in Hancock County and you get an alert, please respond. There's nothing more satisfying than being able to help your neighbor,” Felty said.

Some people may be worried about the CPR not working and what the repercussions may be.

Felty said that state of Indiana has the Good Samaritan Law, which protects you if you are trying to render aid and it doesn’t work.

“If one person gets help out of this, it's paid for,” Duda said.

Other communities are using the Pulse Point app:

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Several Indiana counties are using the Pulse Point app.

The app is free and you can download it here.

Bloomington/Monroe County

Boone County

Clark County

Dearborn County

Hamilton County (see below for individual agencies)

Hancock County

Madison County

St Joe County (see below for individual agencies)

Hamilton County Individual Agencies

Carmel Fire

Cicero Fire

Fishers Fire

Noblesville Fire

Sheridan Fire

Westfield Fire

St Joe County Individual Agencies

Clay Fire

Mishawaka Fire

Penn Township Fire

South Bend Fire

SW Central Fire