By BEN SANCHEZ
Business Journal Writer
In the time of an emergency crisis, a 911 call causes stress and panic for anyone trying to save a loved one. Dialing these digits on our phones is a scary moment in life, and family members are often not prepared for the next critical steps when an ambulance arrives on scene.
Cliff DeBaugh, founder of Ready4Rescue, faces these challenges and questions head on each day in the Central Valley. DeBaugh partnered with co-founder Arvind Ravikumar to raise public awareness on what information families will need before making a 911 emergency call.
DeBaugh created the startup company in 2014, applying for the Technology Incubator program established by Downtown Stockton Alliance. Ready4Rescue would take a top spot out of the program and into Huddle Cowork, a co-working space in Downtown Stockton.
The company takes a proactive approach to 911 calls by providing a system that focuses on information, visibility and preparation.
“Everything starts at the home, and we work from there,” DeBaugh said. “I want more people to be prepared for what emergency responders will need when the call is placed. We work with professionals to inspect residential homes for emergency readiness and decrease the response time to save lives.”
Ready4Rescue offers reflective address numbers to increase visibility at night when medical responders arrive at the home.
“Once you dial 911, your reflective house numbers become a life saving device,” DeBaugh said.
Ready4Rescue provides a free, online, interactive survey regarding home inspection before scheduling an on-site appointment. The website also offers a personal health application that allows users to create an emergency contact profile to transfer onto a data card. The ReadyDataCard, a USB data card device, can be used to store important personal and emergency contact information. Currently, each application is in beta testing, and users can sign up to test out the application at the website.
Along with home safety inspections, Ready4Rescue is committed to reducing the time in a medical emergency to pave a road to better recovery. “Emergency contacts, prescriptions, disabilities and medical history are stored on the data card to help EMTs get your information,” DeBaugh said. Medical responders can access the data card on their computers to bring up vital information about the patient during transportation.
“We do our best to cover every aspect when we speak to individuals about 911-related issues,” DeBaugh said. “The more information responders have about your medical condition can save them time. Our data card is the next logical step to save time for that emergency.”
DeBaugh attended several health and wellness events to keep up on medical technology currently impacting patients and responders. He shares research and strategically planned-out solutions for issues that need to be addressed before you pick up the phone to dial 911.
A key concern during the time of the call is providing an accurate location for responders, due to the inaccuracy of GPS on cell phone devices.
According to an article published by David Witkowski, president of the Wireless Communications Alliance, approximately 25 million people call for an ambulance each year. Witkowski suggested in 2013, the tower antenna misalignment contributed to the problem of location accuracy when dialing 911. The audit emphasized, “2,541 out of 6,046 antennae were out of tolerance.”
DeBaugh explained that when he engages with people at health events, they are unaware of these issues and shocked when they discover that antenna alignment causes 911 delays.
“You have to know where you are when you call on your cellphone. You have to know the streets and house numbers around you,” DeBaugh said. “Do not rely on your smart phone GPS system.”
The company continues to be active members with non-profit organizations that include the Central Valley Asian-American Chamber of Commerce, Alzheimer’s Association and Healings in Motion. DeBaugh helped coordinate with Healings in Motion at the 10th annual Inner Safari Caregivers event this year. He is also an active committee member on the Community Health Committee with the Lodi Chamber of Commerce.
Networking with key organizations in the Central Valley and continuing to bring awareness about emergency medical response are natural steps for DeBaugh, as he moves forward seeking investors. He recently collaborated with Gene Menor, CEO of JMar Media Group, on social media marketing for the company.
“Partnering with strategic companies out of Lathrop like JMar Media Group helps us move from local to national,” DeBaugh said.
DeBaugh’s own personal story about creating his startup company will be featured in the upcoming book, “Breaking Barriers,” available on Amazon.com in December. The book highlights several personal stories of individuals who overcome life challenges and achieve success. A chapter within the book will detail the struggle DeBaugh faced after his accident, the concept of Ready4Rescue and several achievements bringing the startup company into the home safety advocate field. For more information, please visit www.ready4rescue.com.