ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — If you find yourself in need of medical assistance, help can arrive sooner than you think with the help of a new phone app from the Rockford Fire Department.

PulsePoint is a free-to-download mobile app that alerts CPR-trained citizens of cardiac events in their vicinity so they may administer aid.

“As soon as a 911 call comes in, that someone needs CPR and is in cardiac arrest in a public space, the alert goes out to people that are trained in CPR. They are geographically close, so they can respond and begin CPR till EMS arrives,” explained Rockford Fire Chief Derek Bergsten.

EMS coordinator Brian Park says the fire department offers hands-only CPR training, a skill he believes everyone should learn.

“About 14% of our cardiac arrests are witnessed by bystanders. Of those 14%, only about 23% of those people intervene and provide some sort of CPR chest compressions,” Park said.

Throughout the year, the Rockford Fire Department responds to nearly 30,000 incidents, including more than 200 cardiac arrest events.

Bergsten called the app a game changer. He said all three Rockford hospitals are financially supporting its launch.

“We’re looking for anybody that wants to get engaged to support the community, and support other members out there, that in their time of need, they are able to help provide assistance,” he said.

Park says early action is key to saving lives.

“Chest compression-only CPR is something very simple and really, when you pair it down, it only takes about 30 to 90 seconds to effectively teach somebody, and that can be the difference between life and death,” he said.