The Wall Street Journal recently featured the San Ramon Fire Department’s innovative mobile app, which enables citizen participation in emergency situations. Their app, “Fire Department,” allows people trained in CPR to sign up to receive text messages when someone nearby is suffering cardiac arrest, and then they can then use the app to map the location of the victim and any nearby AEDs to respond before an ambulance arrives.
According to the SRFD’s Richard Price, “On average, it takes 7 minutes for first responders from a 911 call to arrive. The reason many people are dying is because of that difference.” When an AED is used within the first 10 minutes survival rates rise to nearly 80 percent. That’s what this app is hoping to make happen.
Smart, right? We think so too — that’s why we’re working with the SRFD to help make the app usable by fire departments around the world. The goal is bring it to scale by creating an developer community around the project, and by partnering with leading industry mapping and geolocation service providers to generate a comprehensive list of AED locations — the data crucial for the app to function. We’re just getting started, but we’ll be posting updates on the blog, so stay tuned.
For now, check out the video and the Journal article (excerpted below) for more details:
[The San Ramon Fire Department] came up with the idea for an app that became available for use in the San Ramon Valley in January and is now being developed for national use. Called Fire Department, the app allows people trained in CPR to sign up to receive text messages when someone nearby is suffering cardiac arrest. They can then use the app to map the location of the victim and any nearby automated external defibrillators.
Although anyone can download the app – and about 40,000 people have – it’s now available only on the iPhone and operational in the San Ramon Valley. Working with software vendor Workday Inc., Mr. Price and his team are developing an Android version and working to make the app available to fire departments across the country.
Nonprofits Code for America and Civic Commons are assisting with the open source environment to allow other developers to contribute to the project and eventually make the technology available world-wide. Mr. Price is also working on setting up a foundation to support the app, and he says he has already received an outpouring of corporate support and an unsolicited six-figure donation…
Photo credit: San Ramon Valley Fire