INDIANAPOLIS — Every second matters when you're in an emergency situation.
A Central Indiana company, Covert Alert, says they believe a new safety app created to cut down on those precious seconds will help save lives.
A traumatic experience that Jamie Dugan went through in her past still impacts her life today. Dugan shares what happened to her one night when a man followed her for as to why she advocates for Covert Alert.
"He started flashing his headlights at me — I'm young, I'm a teenager, I'm 17 — I pulled over," Dugan recalled.
"This man comes up to my car; he says, 'hey your wheel has some major problems. I am worried you're going to get stranded,'" she said.
Dugan told him she was almost to her destination and continued driving, but once again, a few minutes later, he stopped her.
"What I did is I rolled my window down, just enough for him to grab on to my head and hair," she said. "There was a gun right on me, and he was like, 'get out of the car.'"
Dugan said what followed was the worst part.
The man took her in his vehicle and raped her.
It's an experience she thinks about often, which is why she's now advocating for the safety app Covert Alert. Dugan believes it could help others avoid the trauma she experienced.
"Like, if I say, 'protect me now,' the app says, 'protection mode is ready,' and I have mine set to vibrate," Dugan explained on how the app's safety features work.
From there, the app is on standby; waiting to hear Dugan's pre-set keywords.
"Mine is 'leave me alone.' It vibrated, so I know this recording has started. So my emergency alert has been triggered, and a recording is in progress," Dugan said.
The app sends an alert to your five emergency contacts, with an audio recording of the situation, as well as your location.
Craig Bracken, CEO of Lucrative Innovations and Covert Alert, says they've noticed more late night downloads of the app.
"One of the biggest situations that we are seeing right now is when people are late at night walking out of office building," Bracken said. "We are noticing that they are downloading Covert Alert because they want to stay protected."
The next step, getting law enforcement on board, which would allow the alerts to go to officers in the area as well.
"Me — as a law-enforcement officer — I would have known instantly that they were in trouble, and actually heard it, and know what I am getting into before I get there," Donny Cook, law enforcement officer, said. "The whole goal, when we started building this app is to save lives."
Dugan says it's an extra layer of protection that gives her a sense of security.
"Its a key to fighting back and being a victor and not a victim," Dugan said.
The app is free and available for both Android and iPhones.
The developers who are based in Indiana say it's a project they've been working on for four years now. They are at the point now where they believe the app is flawless.
The app has already been downloaded more than 244,000 times.