Local high school student using mobile app to try and save lives

The app, called PulsePoint, sends alerts to users during an emergency

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – One local high school student is taking the extra step to try to save lives.

Ian Brown trained as a police explorer in La Crosse for about two years before focusing on other tasks in his life.

While training, he learned how to do CPR and other emergency procedures.

He recently got involved in an emergency situation where he used everything he knew to try and save someone.

“It’s just something that’s on my phone, always running in the background, La Crosse Central High School student Ian Brown said.

Brown an app called PulsePoint, which sends alerts to users during an emergency.

Just last month, the app was put to the test.

“It said that it gave me an address and initially it said that I was two blocks away, and just came up on my phone,” Brown said. “CPR was needed and I was close enough…The incident was right in our parking lot.”

Ian immediately rushed to the scene.

“Every second counts, so just being able to do something and get something started at least, you know, matters,” Brown said. “I’m willing to get involved in that kind of situation…When you’re adrenaline’s up, you’re really not thinking about a lot of it. It’s all habit. Or not habit, more or less repitition…I think the app helped a lot because it kind of got me out there, got to where I was, and did what I was trained.”

Unfortunately, despite the efforts of Ian and other first responders, the man was not saved.

But that’s also been an important lesson.

“It’s definitely an experience that I had to work through afterwards, and just kind of process what I had done and what had actually happened, and you know of course the outcome that I didn’t want,” Brown said. “But just to accept that fact that that’s what I’m dealing with.”

Which is why Ian was caught off guard when he received the Campbell Police Department’s Citizen Service Award.

“I wasn’t sure if it was proper for me to get an award for that, because it really didn’t make sense to me,” Brown said.

“For a young man, a 17-year-old high school student to be able to step up and, like I said, just absolutely just go right into action without any second thought, without any hesitation, is remarkable,” Campbell Police Department Chief Drew Gavrilos said. “So I can’t say enough about how proud we are and how thankful we are of this young man, and his efforts to help us out.”

“It made sense how they were putting it, you know, that I did not have to do anything and they don’t usually get civilian involvement with that kind of stuff,” Brown said.

But because of his determination and a little bit of help from technology, Ian is someone we can all look up to.

This isn’t the first time Ian has stepped in to help during an emergency.

Three years ago, Ian gave the Heimlich maneuver to his friend who was choking in the lunch room at Central High School.

Ian says he wants to train to be in law enforcement after high school.