Often we’ll cover mobile apps that actually utilize the form factor (portability, location, camera, accelerometer, etc.). Not often enough, we’ll cover apps that accomplish some degree of social good. Sometimes we’ll hit up both, like with Good Guide or City Sourced.
The latest is today’s launch of Fire Department. Building off an existing app for the San Ramon, California, fire department, it crowdsources emergency response. This is done by asking users to identify CPR or other emergency training they’ve received.
It then sends push messages when these users are near an emergency situation that matches their predefined abilities and willingness to help. It also quickly identifies the closest publicly available defibrillators (there are lots of these, but otherwise hard to find).
The San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District is behind the whole thing and there is a foundation being created to run it. This will work on all the moving parts like app creation, maintenance, and working with fire departments and municipalities to plug into their 911 systems.
In addition to standard challenges in marketing to users, these are considerable hurdles. But this is still the best mobile app idea I’ve heard in a while … one that could actually save lives. The well-produced video explaining the app is here.