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One Close Call: The Story Behind Rescu
News, Personal Safety

One Close Call: The Story Behind Rescu


Most people in an emergency don’t take time to think, they just do. Adrenaline is pumping. Our minds have trouble focusing beyond what is immediately in front of us. And so we act automatically.

In many cases, this is exactly what you want to happen. It’s why firefighters and other crisis response teams train so hard–to ensure they reflexively know what to do, no matter the situation.

But sometimes looking back on those moments, we see alternate paths. Ones that–if they had existed at the time–would have completely transformed what we experienced as a scary and maybe disorienting situation.


A Real-Life Crisis Meets the Reality of Crisis Response

In 2015, Alarm Relay founder Paul Piscatelli started having severe stomach cramps. The pain grew progressively worse and he soon realized he needed emergency help. He cried out to his wife upstairs, but she was asleep and couldn’t hear him. He couldn’t manage walking up the stairs, but was able to get to the phone and dial 9-1-1 himself.

When he reached the crisis response center, the pain was intense enough that it was difficult to talk.

Unfortunately, 9-1-1 has a rigid process that requires the dispatcher to ask a series of questions about location, address, emergency type, and several follow up questions before sending responders.

While Paul recognized the need for some of this information, the rising pain in his chest made it more and more difficult to respond, and he found himself growing frustrated at the delays in getting help. He managed to stumble through, and thirty minutes later an ambulance took him to the hospital.

In an Emergency, Every Second Can Be Critical

Luckily, what Paul suffered that night, although scary for him and his family, ended up not being a life-threatening illness, but it easily could have been. He was grateful for 9-1-1, the ambulance and the doctors at the hospital. But he was also sobered by the realization that, if the pain had been a heart attack, it could have easily been fatal.

Paul was particularly concerned about the delays caused by having to answer so many unnecessary questions prior to getting an ambulance to his home. That’s when he thought of a better way. He began writing down what he wanted—a way to send for an ambulance, without talking to a 9-1-1 dispatcher and simultaneously notifying his loved ones automatically. And the foundation of the Rescu Emergency Response App was born.

Traditional 9-1-1 vs. Rescu

One of the things Paul’s emergency showed him is that people have a feeling of security from knowing the 9-1-1 system is there. But since they don’t often use it, they don’t really know what to expect when they call.

Which means it’s only when you go through an emergency—in those moments you’re least equipped to deal with more of the unexpected–that you realize the disadvantages and weaknesses of the system.

While 9-1-1 is a great crisis response team, it’s also slowed down by its success. That’s because:

People call for many different reasons, both emergency and nonemergency calls

As a result, the dispatcher needs to ask a number of questions to verify that it is an emergency, what type of service is needed, and the location of the caller

If the person is unable to answer, the dispatcher may send a police officer out on a welfare check to see if everyone is okay, but that can mean even more delay

9-1-1 is meant to be the fast way to get help in an emergency, but Rescu is faster. With Rescu:

  • You can dispatch emergency responders with just two taps, no talking required
  • You’ve already indicated what service you need and your location
  • You can store critical information–such as pre-existing conditions or medications – that’s automatically passed along to responders
  • Rescu’s Central Station immediately dispatches the appropriate crisis response team 

When you are in medical trouble, you want to have help immediately. As Paul recognized, with heart attacks and other emergencies, every minute can be the difference between life and death.

Rescu puts the power to get immediate emergency response in the palm of your hand. No questions asked. Find out more about the life-saving Rescu app today, available for IOS and Android.

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