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CPR Smart Phone App Unveiled In San Francisco

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CPR app, fire department

A screen view of the Fire Department smartphone app. (San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White Wednesday were set to announce a smartphone application that could be in place later this year that would send alerts to people trained in CPR so they could respond to nearby cardiac emergencies.

The technology is already being implemented by the San Ramon Valley Fire District, which helped develop it. The aim is to increase the likelihood of survival for someone suffering from cardiac arrest, San Francisco fire spokeswoman Lt. Mindy Talmadge said.

The application works by putting people who become CPR-certified into a database, and notifying them whenever there is a dispatch call about a cardiac arrest situation in a public area, Talmadge said.

The notification would let the responders know the exact location of the victim, as well as where the nearest defibrillator is, she said.

The San Francisco Fire Department handled 356 cardiac arrest cases last year – nearly one a day. Talmadge said victims’ rate of survival increases dramatically when bystanders are able to use CPR and a defibrillator before emergency responders arrive.

The San Ramon Valley Fire District began using the app in January, and is working with San Francisco officials to bring it to that city, possibly by later this year.

San Ramon Valley Fire Chief Richard Price planned to join Herrera and Hayes-White at a news conference Wednesday morning to announce the city’s commitment to the technology.

The city attorney’s office was working with the San Francisco Fire Department and the city’s Department of Emergency Management, as well as private businesses, to develop the app “at low or no cost” to the city, said Jack Song, spokesman for the city attorney’s office.

The city has also developed a website, www.sffireapp.org, where people can sign up to volunteer once the app is implemented.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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