His phone buzzed, and he took off running — to help a woman in need of cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Off-duty lifeguard Cooper Lock was at dinner in San Luis Obispo on Wednesday when he was alerted, via an app, of a woman in cardiac arrest at Mitchell Park, according to PulsePoint's Twitter.
PulsePoint is a free app that CPR trained community members can download to receive alerts of when someone in a public space within 1,000 yards of them is experiencing cardiac arrest.
"A quarter million people die from cardiac arrest every year. (PulsePoint is) quite literally a game changer for survivability," San Luis Obispo Fire Chief Garret Olsen said.
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Olsen was also alerted by the app and was running toward the park when he noticed Lock headed in the same direction.
Both men arrived to the park at the same time as first responders, shortly after 7:30 p.m. Firefighters revived the woman, and she was transported to a local hospital, Olsen said.
He said he was grateful that Lock responded to the alert as quickly as he did. Had the off-duty chief or fire engine not been close by, Lock's response could have been the difference between life or death for the woman.
"He knows, as well as I do, that a rapid response to someone who is not breathing is crucial," Olsen said.
Lock was not able to be reached for comment.
San Luis Obispo pays about $8,000 a year for the program with funding from the half-cent Measure G sales tax passed in 2014. The app's software is embedded into the city's dispatch system so that users in the area are alerted at the same time as first responders.
PulsePoint's mission is to use technology to "close the gap in those critical minutes" between a person going into cardiac arrest and first responders arriving, PulsePoint media relations Shannon Smith said.
In this instance, 10 people including Olsen and Lock were alerted and within range of the woman. In SLO alone, there are 1,928 app users and of those people, 1,326 people have opted to receive CPR-needed alerts, Smith said.
Olsen encouraged more members of the community download the free app.