East Bay Fire Officials Unveil iPhone App That Can Save Lives

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SAN RAMON (KCBS) – East Bay fire officials have unveiled an iPhone application aimed at helping those who suffer a heart attack.

The groundbreaking app from the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District would allow users to be notified if someone nearby is suffering from cardiac arrest.

The idea is to dispatch volunteers and good Samaritans to the victims to start the CPR process before paramedics arrive.

KCBS’ Patti Reising Reports:

“People who are CPR-trained would download the application and opt-in, indicating they would be willing to help in the time of an emergency,” said Fire Chief Richard Price.

Price said when there is an emergency, a number of people can respond and hopefully use a defibrillator.

“Our application will show them on a map exactly where the nearest one is, give them a text description,” he said. “We think if we can get multiple rescuers, somebody can start CPR, somebody can get the AED, somebody can direct the crews in.”

Price said a quick response to cardiac arrest is of the essence, with the survival rate around 80 percent for those who get help within the first few minutes of an attack.

The app is the first of its kind and has been in the works for over a year. For now, it will only work in areas covered by the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District, which includes Alamo, San Ramon, Danville, Blackhawk and nearby unincorporated areas.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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