911 calls

Prepared App Developed By Yale Students Offers Lifesaving Technology

The software lets people share instant information and livestream video to a 911 dispatcher during emergencies.

NBC Universal, Inc.

A group of Yale University students has developed an app that puts tools in the palm of your hand to report a dangerous situation.

With just a button, the Prepared app lets users report crucial details about a scene to the people around them or a 911 dispatcher.

“All you do is press and hold it for three seconds. It will ask you your location, you’re able to hit 'yes, you’re near it.' So whatever communication you need to communicate at that time, that’s always a touch away,” Michael Chime, CEO and co-founder of Prepared, said.

Although he works with a team of about 10 now, the app was originally developed by Chime and two other Yale undergrads, Dylan Gleicher and Neal Soni.

“If you're a school, if you're a hospital, if you're a building, anywhere where there's a lot of people, at the touch of a button, you can communicate an emergency to everyone on-site, local surrounding buildings, and first responders,” Chime explained.

The software lets any 911 caller send livestreaming video, pictures, and an exact location directly to a 911 dispatcher. The caller just needs to click on a link the dispatcher texts to their phone. That feature is already being deployed in the real world. In one case, it was used to de-escalate a domestic violence situation.

“A young lady was able to get to a safe place and call 911and say, basically, ‘I'm going through a problem, my boyfriend,’ and they were able to stream and say ‘I'm on stream with 911,' and the person went away,” Chime said.

“I grew up in a town right outside of where there was an active shooter event. I grew up right in Concord, Ohio, the shooting itself was Chardon, Ohio. So neighboring towns,” Chime said. “I'm like 13, 14 years old. And I saw how that impacted this really small blue-collar town. Not only was it a passionate point for me, but students in general. You’re really just the first generation that grew up with the issue, and I think our generation felt that.”

The developers started researching communication during an emergency.

“One of the emergencies that we looked at was the Parkland emergency,” Chime said. “In that shooting, it took almost three minutes to even initiate a lockdown on campus, and the emergency itself only six. They were utilizing things like walkie-talkies, PA systems, etc. When we communicate with the things in our pockets are in our hands every day.”

That is why they created the feature on the app that allows teachers, staff and students to rapidly share information with each other.

“So as alerts come in, I'm always informed on what's exactly going on on the campus,” Chime said. “This could be anything from the most serious, like an active shooter situation, or it could be a low level like it's a medical emergency and someone's on the playground.”

The project received the Thiel Fellowship and a stipend of $100,000. It allowed Chime to leave school this year and focus exclusively on developing the app. He said hundreds of schools and 15 cities across the country have signed on to officially use the software.

Chime feels the expansion is making a difference. In fact, he said, during a medical emergency the app already saved a life.

“It was a CPR event. So some caller had called in basically saying, you know, ‘Hey, this person's unconscious in front of me, I don't know CPR, what do I do?’” Chime said. “They were able to stream the unconscious person, the dispatcher, walked them through CPR, how they were able to adjust their hands. And the person lived as a result. At the end of the day, it’s impacting real lives. It’s saving lives.”

Contact Us