Saturday Morning – Cell Phones On
Out of the 30,000+ fire departments in the U. S., a goodly number of them have their own web pages by now. But only a small percentage of them have what I would call an excellent or even effective website. Many departments go out of their way to host a website that is truly informative and meant to engage the citizens by telling them useful things. Over the past five years I have looked at untold hundreds of FD websites in the course of putting together this blog each day, and I have seen all manners of fire department websites….all the way from crap-ola to excellent.
So far, I haven't seen any that come close to the amazing interactive website hosted by the San Ramon Valley (California) Fire Protection District. Rather than repeat here everything I have already noted about them, I will refer you to my previous postings HERE and HERE on their imaginative and innovative use of the internet and urge you to take the time to read them. Another feature that they introduced just over a year ago is their citizen CPR program that sends alerts to registered volunteers about CPR incidents nearby that they might be able to respond to and initiate life-saving before the ambulance gets there. We wrote about it in January of last year HERE and said in part:
Check out this latest addition to their citizen partnership policy, a CPR notification signal. This new app utilizes the GPS technology that is built into cellphones and is installed on the phones of people who are certified CPR performers. To just explain it briefly, if there is a 9-1-1 call for a cardiac incident in the San Ramon Fire District territory, the dispatch will also send an alert to people who are registered in the program and in the immediate area at that moment. It will tell them three things: Where the incident is and what it is, a map showing where the address is located, and a map showing where the nearest AED is available. The whole idea of course, is to get life-saving help to the victim as soon as possible and perhaps start CPR several minutes before the ambulance arrives.
What brought this program to mind this morning was a press release that told about the developer of that CPR app being a finalist nominee for a major award for their program. I didn't realize it, but it makes sense that the app itself is commercially available and can be used by any public service agency that qualifies. And making this even better is that use of the program is FREE. Click on over to PulsePoint's WEBSITE HERE to learn even more about it. If your agency has a dedicated IT staff of one or a dozen, this is a great way to provide a genuine service to your citizens.
Firegeezer notes that this is the type of activity that goes a long way to protect the FD's reputation and budget from the onslaught of bent politicians.
Let's get started with our equipment check now. I need to get some good, high-octane coffee going, too. See you back in the day room.
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