Thursday, March 26, 2015

WHERE'S THE FIRE ?

I am one of forty seven persons to still have and love a dumb phone but I have come across an app (on my wife's Smartie-Pantsed phone) that would almost move me to buy a Smart-ier phone. It is called, Pulse Point.

The application has been purchased for use by many large metropolitan areas in order to 'save lives' . Recently, our City of Albuquerque, New Mexico shelled out the $25k for a first year try of the app. Pulse Point is set up to save lives in that you are notified if anyone has a heart attack or is in need of CPR in your general area. Supposedly, you would rush over to the victim located on your phone's Pulse Point integrated map, the on your phone, read the instructions given by Pulse Point to apply CPR and Presto ! You are a Hero and a life is saved. I imagine a course or too in Red Cross First Aid might also help.

In actuality, I do not know how many folks would or will be doing that for their fellow citizens and I am not sure that they even should be doing this...For me, the coolest thing about this app is that now every single call out for the Albuquerque Fire Department from Medical Emergencies, Mutual Aid, Disasters, Traffic Collisions, and Structure Fires are immediately available to anyone who has this app on their phones.

Now this app is not for everyone...This reminds me of the days when a Volunteer Fireman or a Doctor might get a page and rush to the scene, except that it is so much more wildly better. Only 'old geezers' used to sit around and listen to their police, paramedic or fire 'scanners' back in the day. Ironically, this app was 'announced' in Albuquerque media, the very day it was also announced that RADIO SHACK had gone under. Scanners Pishawww!

In truth (sorry old geezers) most 'scanners' no longer work as radio messages are all digital in big cities. There are apps/web sites available to listen in on radio calls for fire and police, the most popular one being "Broadcastify" as well as others (on your app search use the word "emergency"). In Albuquerque, you can still hear analog calls for Albuquerque Ambulance and Rio Rancho Police Department on your old geezer scanner.

Now there's an app for that. It is rather astounding how many calls the Albuquerque Fire Department responds to. After setting up our preferences on Pulse Point to receive push notices for everything, I quickly adjusted it to Structure Fires only. This relieved my wife who's phone was blinging and blanging constantly.


A South Broadway House Fire  © Jeff Hartzer 2013


I am an admitted 'newsie'. I love taking 'on the scene' photographs. I have had my pictures seen on all local Albuquerque tv stations as well as local blogs. Still never gotten paid for any but I love to take pictures and burning buildings or Albuquerque Police Riots (March 2014) make for some great pictures. If you scroll down long enough you can see some of my work at this website, Jeff Hartzer dot com.

I am also an active member of Albuquerque's C.E.R.T Community Emergency Response Team, a volunteer in U.N.M.'s Emergency Room, and an alumnus of Albuquerque's Citizen Police Academy. I also for ten years authored a weblog called, FRESH CHAOS dot com. All of this is to say that I love being 'on the scene' of fresh chaos, and if I have my camera with me so much the better.


Medical Emergency  ©Jeff Hartzer 2015


You can locate your own location on the app and when a 'call' comes in find it immediately on a map or satellite image. Just an hour ago, my wife's one got a 'push' for a structure fire and as it was close by our home, I decided to drive over and check it out. I actually arrived before the Fire Chief from Station One downtown. As fires go, luckily that one was a false alarm.

So selfishly I say, ¡Mucha Mierda!, Merde, and break a leg...to Pulse Point and to the City of Albuquerque for signing on to it.

Meanwhile, if you think you might be into it, check out Pulse Point at Pulse Point dot org . Download the app for Android and IOS (IOS 7 and above only)...And go save some lives or something. Be careful to drive safe and stay out of the way of first responders at all times.