August 24, 2013 | by

Mobile innovations for emergency response highlighted at Brookings event

BrookingsPanelRPGovernment should form public-private partnerships to incorporate new mobile technologies into emergency response, said panelists at a Brookings Institution event in July.

“Government’s got to create the environment for these new technologies…to ensure the safety of the public or to allow the public to ensure its own safety,” said Jamie Barnett, a former head of the Federal Communications Commission’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. “There’s so many out there that need to be discovered and found.”

Private companies can build on top of platforms such as GPS and the forthcoming FirstNet system, but they can’t provide the level of resources that government can to lay the initial foundation, said Richard Price, a former fire chief in Contra Costa County, Calif. Price is now president of the nonprofit PulsePoint Foundation, whose mobile application lets individuals who can perform CPR receive notifications if someone nearby is having a cardiac arrest.

The app’s users may be close to the patient and able to provide care while traditional first responders are still en route. Plus, many of them are in fact off-duty first responders, Price said. The app also directs users to the nearest portable defibrillator.

Price added, “It kind of redefines what it means to be a witnessed arrest,” a heart attack seen by a bystander who knows CPR. “You only have to be nearby now, not at the exact right place at the exact right time, so the odds are much greater.”

Suzy DeFrancis, the chief public affairs officer at the American Red Cross, detailed some of what her organization has learned incorporating social media into its response efforts.

Read more at FierceMobileGovernment.

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July 1, 2013 | by

Mobile Technology’s Role in Natural Disasters and Public Safety Preparedness and Response

Chief Price to speak at the Brookings Institution on July 16 in Washington, DC. Register to attend the event in-person or to watch the live webcast.

Brookings InstitutionFrom Hurricane Sandy to international catastrophes such as the tsunami in Japan, governments are increasingly using mobile technology in natural disaster preparedness and public safety response. With an estimated 6 billion mobile phone users worldwide, mobile communications is fast proving to be the most effective and efficient means of reaching and informing the public when disaster strikes. How is mobile technology being used before, during, and after a crisis situation in the United States and around the world? How has mobile communications’ role in catastrophic situations changed, and how are public safety organizations utilizing this technology to make citizens safer and better prepared? What are the costs and benefits of using mobile technology to ready for and react to a major emergency?

On July 16, as part of the Mobile Economy Project, the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings will host a discussion on mobile technology and its evolving role in disaster and public safety. A panel of experts will discuss how mobile devices aid in planning for and reacting to a crisis, and how do they empower emergency management agencies and officials, first responders, and the public to tackle a variety of natural disasters and security crises.

After the program, panelists will take audience questions. This event will be live webcast.

Participants can follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #TechCTI.

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