LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles County officials Wednesday announced the launch of a mobile app that allows users to render immediate aid to cardiac arrest victims located in their vicinity.

County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Fire Chief Daryl Osby were among those on hand for the official release of PulsePoint, which informs bystanders of cardiac arrest events as the same time as first responders and includes the location of the nearest automatic external defibrillator (AED).

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Users are instructed to begin hands-only CPR until responders arrive, which officials say will improve survivability rates, which are less than 8 percent nationwide and approximately 6 percent for cardiac arrest victims countywide.

Touted by the PulsePoint Foundation as an “AMBER alert for cardiac arrest victims,” the app – which is available for both iPhone and Android phones – will only notify users of emergencies that take place in public places and not include alerts for emergencies at residential addresses.

Doctor Leslie Saxon of the USC Center for Body Computing told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO survivability rates are directly linked to responders providing immediate chest compressions to victims.

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“If you’re not properly resuscitated with CPR and then public access to some type of defibrillation, your survival is very grim,” Saxon said.

Los Angeles County Fire officials are encouraging residents to become CPR-certified in order to use the app.

For more information on CPR classes throughout LA County, residents can call (323) 881-2411 or email info@fire.lacounty.gov.

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