Taking it to the Streets: the SF Heroes LIVE Game!

So, we have this great app.  It's called SF Heroes and it's on iPhone and Android smart phone platforms. If you haven't already, we hope you'll download it and join the fun.  SF Heroes is one of DEM's online, social mechanism for learning about how to be prepared for an emergency; but what about an in-person way to do the same? Well, we are happy to share that we have indeed thought of that, and are making available to San Francisco this October SF Heroes LIVE! The SF Heroes preparedness iPhone and Android app brought to…life! What is SF Heroes LIVE? The SF Heroes LIVE game is a live action and in-person version of SF Heroes, the smart phone preparedness social gaming app. Get a group of friends together as a team or play individually to complete in fun and creative challenges and tasks that will help you to get prepared for just about any kind of emergency.

How does SF Heroes LIVE Work? Starting October 11, begin a week-long quest to earn points as you complete tasks and compete for prizes designed to enhance your superhero emergency preparedness knowledge and skills. You’ll also share your successes with your friends on your favorite social media channels. And then one week later, join us at Jillian’s at the Metreon on the evening of October 18 for an exciting celebration of your preparedness prowess with others from the game.

How to Play SF Heroes LIVE? The first steps to participate in SF Heroes LIVE are to download the SF Heroes app to your phone and choose your superhero identity; don’t forget to invite your friends on Facebook to join the superhero ranks (you’ll be able to do this directly from the app). The next step is to preregister yourself and/or your team for the live game at sfheroes.com (preregistration is open now!) where you will also find a list of the local businesses providing prizes, which include Fiat Lux, Fresh and Easy, Jillians, Trader Joes, Ritual Coffee Brewers, Cole Hardware, and our sponsoring partner Target.

Be part of the SF Heroes experience and help our city to be ready for…anything!

The SF Heroes Promotional Video

A few months ago on the DEM Blog, we posted Coming Soon to a YouTube Channel Near You, a blog about filming the SF Heroes promotional video and its goal to to explain what the SF Heroes app is and how it promotes emergency preparedness--in a fun and campy way.  We wanted the film to be unique, non-govie and virally catchy; we think we succeeded! So, DEM is thrilled to release the SF Heroes short film to San Francisco! And, when you watch, we hope will share with your networks.  To you monster experts out there, can you name the monster in the film? Here's a hint: H.P. Lovecraft.


The Fall Season of Emergency Preparedness Is Upon Us!

"ShakeOut is a great way to practice mental and muscle memory so you know what to do the next time the earth shakes" Kate Long, California Emergency Management Agency Earthquake and Tsunami Program Deputy

With September being National Preparedness Month and October being the 24th anniversary of the Loma Prieta Earthquake, this fall the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management encourages you to take these reminders as incentives to build upon your preparedness and resilience. Whether by visiting www.72hours.org to develop your emergency plan; downloading SF Heroes (www.sfheroes.com) to your smart phone to test your preparedness know-how; registering for www.AlertSF.org, DEM’s text-based message system that delivers emergency information to cell phones and other text-enabled devices, as well as email accounts—there are many simple and often immediate ways to enhance your preparedness and resilience. DEM also highly encourage you to become a trained member of your local San Francisco Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (www.sfgov.org/sffdnert). 


The good news is that you are more prepared than you think. Being prepared isn’t necessarily about buying an expensive earthquake or emergency kit. It’s about having basic items gathered and ready at hand. It’s about talking with your family about where to meet after a disaster or making sure everyone knows where your emergency supplies are. It’s about knowing to drop, cover and hold on during an earthquake.


While on the topic of knowing what to do during an earthquake, this October marks the 5th Annual Great California ShakeOut, California’s state-wide drop, cover and hold on drill. We hope you will participate and help to spread the word about registering and participating in the drill planned for Thursday, October 18th at 10:18am. The purpose of the ShakeOut drill is practice and preparation: knowing what to do before, during and after an earthquake and preparing our homes, workplaces and schools for any type of an emergency.

How to Participate?

Register yourself, your household and your workplace for the drill at www.shakeout.org and join the rest of California on October 18th by practicing drop, cover and hold on at 10:18 am. Additional ways to participate include posting ShakeOut posters in your organizations public areas and/or handing out post cards to promote awareness of, and participation in the drill. Finally, tweet about your ShakeOut experience (#shakeout)!

San Francisco is a great place to live, work and play and it’s important we all do what we can to be prepared for any kind of emergency, small or large.  





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Social Preparedness: The NERT Citwide Drill

Last April the San Francisco Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) conducted its annual citywide drill.  For those of us who were there, wasn't it cool?!  And for those of us who were not, join the Neighborhood Empowerment Network (NEN) Director Daniel Homsey, NERT Program Coordinator Lt. Erica Arteseros and Advisory Board Member Lynn Jacklevich and experience the camaraderie of this social preparedness activity. Want to feel the camaraderie first-hand? Join your neighborhood's NERT. It's a great feeling knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency and your community will be all the more resilient as a result. And if you do, don't forget to get your SF Hero Badge via SF Heroes, DEM's smart phone app that gives you street cred on Facebook and Twitter for your emergency preparedness savvy.

A special thanks to NEN for capturing the magic of social preparedness!

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/43423766 w=500&h=281]

EMS: More Than a Job. It’s a Calling.

As we close this year’s National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) week, DEM wants to highlight the recipients of the 14th Annual EMS Agency and SF Paramedic Association Award Program. Aligning with this year’s National EMS Week theme, EMS: more than a job. It’s a calling, the recipients of this year’s EMS Awards were honored for their dedication and commitment to the field of emergency medical services and those they aid. They are SF Heroes and we are happy to recognize them in this DEM Blog. Who Was Honored and Why

EMS Field Providers Award Firefighter Anthony Valerio, EMT-P and Lt. Vincent Perez, EMT-1 received these awards posthumously for many years of outstanding performance as a paramedic, as an EMT and for extraordinary bravery as firefighters in the San Francisco Fire Department. On June 2, 2012, Anthony and Vincent lost their lives in the line of duty fighting a fire in Diamond Heights.

EMS Hospital Provider Award Terry Dentoni, RN, MSN with San Francisco General Hospital received this award for outstanding performance in providing more than 25 years of emergency and critical care nursing at SF General Hospital, and for creative and energetic support of satellite sobering centers at special events.

EMS Community Services Award was given to Elaine Rodahl, RN for her leadership in promoting and teaching CPR to thousands of people, and for her tireless work with the American Heart Association to improve the survival rate from cardiac arrest in the Bay Area.

EMS Dispatcher Ulysses J. Levy, EMD received this award his 18 years of outstanding performance as a dispatcher, especially for his extraordinary skill in handling stressful medical calls in a calm and professional manner, as he did in November, 2011 when he assisted a father in the delivery of his baby. The family Ulysses helped was in attendance to the surprise of Ulysses, as was the paramedic who arrived on-scene to provide emergency medical care to the mother and newborn.

Paramedic Captain James M. Fazackerley, EMT-P, SFFD received the Raymond Lim Excellence in EMS for exceptional performance as a paramedic instructor, supervisor and manager for 29 years and for leadership and innovation in emergency medical services.

The Special Recognition Award went to Willie Orey, Jr, EMT-1, AMR posthumously for years of outstanding performance as a unit detailer, stocker and EMT, and for several years of service as a CCT-EMT for San Francisco Ambulance.

Congratulations to all of the award recipients. You are the REAL San Francisco Heroes!

SF Hero: 9-1-1 Dispatcher of the Year Stephen Golden

During last week’s San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting at City Hall, 9-1-1 Dispatcher Stephen Golden received a commendation for being DEM’s Dispatcher of the Year.   Stephen was selected for this honor based on his outstanding work during a 9-1-1 call from a visitor to San Francisco, who needed to send medical aid to her family residence in Columbia, Maryland.  The caller explained she was visiting San Francisco to speak at a symposium and that when she called home, her three year old son answered the phone and told her his father was lying on the floor in the closet.  She also had a one year old son at home.

Stephen made attempts to locate a telephone number to notify Emergency Services in Columbia, but to no avail. He asked the caller to tell him the largest nearby city, and she said Baltimore.  Stephen continued to gather information from the caller, including her home address, husband’s name, neighbor contact information and even where a spare key to her   home could be found.  The neighbor and Baltimore Emergency Services were able to go the caller’s home and respond to the situation.

Stephen also asked the caller if she had a work colleague traveling with her, which she did, and Stephen was able to contact the colleague who could be with her.  “I believe that contacting the colleague was particularly important,” said Stephen while accepting his commendation.  “No one should be told of a loved one’s death, then be alone.”

Emergency Services in Maryland ultimately confirmed that the caller’s husband had passed away, but both children were fine. Stephen remained on the phone with the caller for 39 minutes (well exceeding the average 9-1-1 call length of two minutes), providing comfort and solace. “I stayed with my caller because I sensed what was coming,” Stephen shared with the Board of Supervisors during the meeting.

Although the outcome of this 9-1-1 call was tragic, it was Stephen’s focused and effective work that sent emergency services to the caller’s home on the other side of the country, while at the same time providing compassion and support to the distressed caller.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ About the DEM 9-1-1 Call Center

DEM serves as the 9-1-1 call center for Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Services. The center handles approximately 1 million calls annually. Of these calls, 80 percent are for police matters, 14 percent are for emergency medical Services, and 6% are for fire suppression. Seventy percent of the 9-1-1 calls DEM receives are from cellular phones. In 2000, DEM became the first agency in California to accept wireless calls, instead of receiving transfers from the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

The center is the third busiest Public Safety Answering Point in California, behind Los Angeles and San Diego (not including CHP call centers). The average answering time for 9-1-1 calls is three seconds. DEM has the ability to translate calls into 173 different languages and dialects; Spanish and Cantonese are the top two most commonly translated languages.