SAN RAMON, CA – In the spirit of “Gov 2.0” the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District (SRVFPD) announced the release of an innovative new location-aware iPhone application today, January 25, 2011. The new app empowers everyday citizens to provide life-saving assistance to victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). Application users who have indicated they are trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can now be notified if someone nearby is having a cardiac emergency and may require CPR.
If the cardiac emergency is in a public place, the application, using sophisticated GPS technology, will alert citizens in the vicinity of the need for CPR. The application also directs these citizen rescuers to the exact location of the closest public access Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
“The creation and deployment of a smartphone application that notifies trained bystanders of nearby cardiac arrest events completely redefines the traditional meaning of a witnessed arrest by expanding awareness over a much broader area,” said Richard Price, Fire Chief for the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District. “Providing actionable, real-time information during a sudden cardiac arrest emergency, including mapping the victim and rescuer locations, along with the nearest AED locations, is the quintessential use of GPS technology on a mobile phone today.”
Nearly 300,000 people die each year in the United States from cardiac arrest. Survival rates nationally for SCA are less than eight percent and brain death begins in just four to six minutes. Even the best emergency medical services (EMS) in the country can have response times that exceed seven minutes. Bystander CPR and the early use of an AED are two extremely critical links in the cardiac chain of survival. This application strengthens these links and ultimately strengthens the entire chain.
“The District will share tools to allow other public safety agencies to deploy the Fire Department application at no cost in their community,” added Chief Price. “Although pioneered here, the value of this application is far too important to society to not ambitiously share it with other communities around the globe.”
SRVFPD has been publicly testing a limited version of the application for the past six months with more than 22,000 iPhone users. The District has sent over 600,000 push notifications during this assessment period.
The new application was publically unveiled today at a press conference featuring Fire Chief Richard Price, International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) President Jack Parow, Workday Co-Founder and CEO Dave Duffield along with CEO Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media.
The San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District provides all-risk fire, rescue and emergency medical services to the communities of Alamo, Blackhawk, the Town of Danville, Diablo, the City of San Ramon, the southern area of Morgan Territory and the Tassajara Valley, in Northern California (Contra Costa County). The District’s service area encompasses approximately 155 square miles and serves a population of 170,000.
NOTE TO EDITORS: For additional web and print resources including sample screen shots, supporting images and video please visit the Fire Department iPhone App landing page at http://www.firedepartment.mobi/
A Public Service Announcement (PSA) video to raise local awareness about the application is also available on the site. The PSA is being shown in local movie theatres beginning January 28, 2011.
Fire Department App - PSA from Fire Department on Vimeo.