San Diego, California - Every minute a victim of sudden cardiac arrest waits for CPR, their chance of survival drops by up to 10 percent.

After four to six minutes, brain damage begins to occur.

After 10 minutes, it’s often too late. Few resuscitation attempts succeed.

Now PulsePoint, an innovative new smartphone application, lets citizens trained in CPR know when their help is needed, allowing them to step in during those critical moments before a paramedic arrives. It is now available in the San Diego region, thanks to the County and a coalition of local agencies.

County Supervisors Ron Roberts and Bill Horn, San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer, San Diego County Fire Chiefs’ Association President Dave Hanneman and other local fire and government officials on Monday announced the arrival of the cutting-edge technology at a news conference at San Diego Fire-Rescue Department’s Fire Station 1.

“Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in our country, and just 8 percent of those who experience it survive,” Supervisor Ron Roberts said. “We can do better. This app can help us change these grim statistics.”

The region is one of the largest in the U.S. to launch the app, which was developed by the Pleasanton, California-based nonprofit PulsePoint Foundation and distributed by Redmond, Washington-based emergency medical device company Physio-Control, Inc. San Diego joins the more than 500 localities around the nation that have begun using the app. Also available on Monday is compression-only CPR training from local ambulance providers Rural/Metro and American Medical Response.

“San Diego is again on health care’s leading edge by adopting this technology,” said Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. “It is going to allow us as citizens to help one another in previously unimaginable ways. But it’s up to us to get trained, download this tool and use it.”

“Most of us have a friend or loved one who has suffered with a heart condition,” said Supervisor Bill Horn. “Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to one of those individuals, or out of the blue to any of us, at any time. You never know who or when you may be in the right place at the right time to help someone, thanks to this app.”

When a 9-1-1 call for sudden cardiac arrest comes in, an alert goes to the app at the same time first responders are dispatched. Citizens who are signed up for the app and nearby the incident are notified of the location of the victim as well as the closest publicly accessible AEDs.

How effective the app is in a community depends on citizen involvement. Get trained in CPR and sign up to receive the alerts. The American Red Cross, American Heart Association, and San Diego Project Heartbeat provide trainings throughout the year. You never know, you may just help save someone’s life! So please download the app through Google play or the Apple App store. Also available through PulsePoint is a companion app called PulsePoint AED, which allows the public to register the locations of publicly accessible AEDs in their community.

Cox Communications is supporting this program by airing this public service announcement (PSA) promoting the PulsePoint app on local cable channels.

For more information, visit the County’s PulsePoint information page or, to download the apps, visit PulsePoint.