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New Smartphone App Could Turn Regular Citizens into Heroes

Screen shot of new "Fire Department" app

The San Ramon (California) Fire Department announced today that it was relaunching an app that’s been very close to its heart. It’s called, appropriately enough, the “Fire Department” app – and it aims to saves lives. The Fire Department app hopes to do this by alerting citizens who know how to perform CPR of nearby emergencies that have occurred in a public place.

Allow ElderGadget to explain: Once you download the Fire Department app, it will ask if you would be willing to provide CPR or administer an automated external defibrillator shock  if an emergency should occur in your immediate vicinity. If you say yes, you will receive a push notification the next time 911 receives a call in your area. The Fire Department app can do this because it utilizes your phone’s GPS capabilities to identify how close you are to the emergency site. The app can also inform you if an automated external defibrillator is nearby.

The app is currently only available to those who live in or near this San Francisco suburb, though San Ramon hopes other fire departments will adopt it in the future. Willing volunteers will only receive push notifications if the emergency occurs in a public place.

According to the San Ramon Fire Department, response officials have only about a 10-minute window to reach a person experiencing a cardiac emergency before all hope is lost.  The department’s goal is to arrive within seven minutes, which the fire prevention chief says can be too close for comfort in some instances.

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