May 31, 2011

CPR by iPhone

Great new iPhone App by the San Ramon Fire Department called FireDepartment.
This life-saving iPhone app notifies citizens trained in CPR (that have opted-in) of a cardiac emergency occurring in a public area near them.
An article in Government Technology (May 2011) explains that citizens can "start administering CPR before first responders arrive at the scene."
The problem it addresses is that generally it takes about 7 minutes from a heart attack to death, and it can take about just as long for rescue crews to reach victims.
So, if there are qualified people in the vicinity that can help in the the crucial minutes in between, they can literally save lives.
This is how it works:
1) Emergency dispatchers receive a call for help.
2) They enter "CPR assistance needed" into the dispatch system.
3) First responders AND local citizens with the CPR app (within 500 feet of the emergency) are alerted.
4) Location-based technology in the iPhone directs you to not only where the assistance is needed but also to where the nearest automated external defibrillator (AED) can be found.
"If you're at Starbucks and next door at the deli someone goes down, you're getting a notification."
Currently, the app covers San Ramon County's 155 miles, but there are plans to make it available as open source code to other jurisdictions across the country as well.
The app was developed with the help of Fire Chief Richard Price who previously was a software engineer and is bringing a new technology focus to life-saving emergency response.

There are also iPhone apps that walk you through performing CPR, such as CPR-Choking and CPR Hero.
Hopefully, we never need these apps, but it's good to know people and information are there to help just an iPhone app away.


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