Ideas Every Day #159 – Emergency Debris Removal Sign Up

Recently a building unexpectedly collapsed across the street from a school I used to work at in Philadelphia and killed six people.  During many hours after the initial collapse there was a rush to try and search through the rubble for any people that may be trapped underneath.  The construction equipment that was on site started to be put to use to help, but there were only so many pieces, and so many people that were allowed to help that no one was found and it took many long hours to search through the debris.

Why couldn’t there be a way to enlist the help of additional people or equipment to search through the rubble?  There were countless people walking by the site of the collapse that wanted to help (I heard them say it) and within 9 blocks there were more than double the pieces of machinery onsite that could of helped.

How about a way that police or fire fighters can send out an alert for assistance needed from a ‘general public’ and those that have previously signed up somehow (downloading an app) get notified and come help.

Something like an app could help the people involved:

  • fill out some sort of standard waiver
  • get some sort of training in the form of questions/quiz they had to answer before they
  • notify other people in the area
  • send notification to any other construction crew in the city that had equipment that might be able to help
  • pre-authorize/inform those construction crews of what could be needed on

I’m not saying that in the incident in Philadelphia someone would of definitely been found alive had they been able to search the rubble faster, but I believe there would of been a better chance, and I know it could of helped people in other examples of these horrible situations.

How can we find ways to mobilize people to help when the negative possibilities of having people at a site are outweighed by the potential benefit of the help of extra hands.

Yes, and…

Matt Kane

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