CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- UVA, Charlottesville and Albemarle County are working on adopting an app that will allow bystanders in public settings to take action if someone is suffering from cardiac arrest. 

William Brady, the professor for emergency medicine at UVA, is one of the people at UVA spearheading the app. 

He said it will allow people to act before first responders arrive.

"It is a volunteer medical provider when a cardiac arrest occurs in your immediate vicinity in a public location, you'll be notified a cardiac arrest has occurred and then if possible you can safely and quickly make your way to the victim's side," said Brady.

Brady said it can be hard to determine if someone is dealing with cardiac arrest, but if you think they are dealing with cardiac arrest, act accordingly. 

"If you find a person who is unconscious and not breathing normally, you should consider that they're in cardiac arrest," said Brady. "When that happens, call 911. There is absolutely no such thing is as a false alarm. If you're wrong and the patient isn't in cardiac arrest, that's absolutely ok."

Brady encourages people to call 911 and start applying CPR or use an automated external defibrillator, also known as an AED,  if one is present. 

He said the sooner you apply it, the better.

"If we can deliver treatment as early as possible, within the first one to two minutes, the likelihood of survival goes way up," he said. "Even waiting four, five, six or eight to ten minutes can make a big difference and can result in a bad outcome."

Anyone can perform the live-saving tactics and use the app, no matter if they are CPR certified or not, or even if they are not a trained first responder.

"People that aren't health care providers, people that maybe have CPR training, some people don't have CPR training, we prefer they do, but that doesn't mean that they can't help people," he said.

There is no timetable for when the app will be adopted.