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Recently Bob Stedman, South Shore Fire Chief shared information and statistics at a Mount Pleasant board meeting regarding response times of Fire and EMS vehicles. His basic premise was response time is adequate. A number of citizens in Mount Pleasant strongly disagree. For example, NO AREAS of Southeastern and Northeastern Mount Pleasant currently have Heart Attack friendly 4 minute response times.

Ken Otwaska, a charter member of the Mt. Pleasant Fire Department, who is currently running for Trustee on the Mount Pleasant Village Board is one who has serious reservations regarding response times in both the Southeastern as well as the Northeastern areas of Mount Pleasant. But instead of merely complaining about the issue, Ken and another resident, Rees Roberts, have teamed up to promote a successful technology program called PulsePoint. This is a technology, which brings together citizens who have certifications in CPR along with their Smartphones running the PulsePoint app (which is free), which notifies them of someone who needs CPR in real time. They would be dispatched by the same 911 system that dispatches Fire and rescue squads. This technology is already being used in hundreds of municipalities around the country. In Madison, Wisconsin PulsePoint already has been used 100 times since its implementation in February of 2015.

Recently West Allis and Greenfield have introduced the idea and is working to implement it. The City of Milwaukee is also seriously looking at implementation as well. Click on the video above from our friends at WISN TV to see how this would work.

Rees Roberts indicated he had lunch with Chief Stedman last summer (2015) and shared PulsePoint with him but Stedman did nothing with it. He also suggested to the Chief, if Police Departments have COP houses, why can’t Fire Departments have FIRE houses? It certainly would be way less expensive than building a brand new multi-million dollar Fire Station.

The bottom line is these technologies could bring emergency response to those who need help during a heart attack. Response times need to be improved and there are relatively inexpensive ways of improving them. One of the prime directives of municipalities is public safety. Implementing proven technology can help Mount Pleasant provide this much needed improvement in public safety.


This is yet another area which Ken Otwaska, Gary Feest and Jon Hansen agree that response times of Fire and EMS services needs more attention in our Village. Our citizens should expect nothing less.

Please consider voting for these candidates in the General Election, April 5th, 2016.

This Op/Ed by Rees Roberts

p.s. the $28,000 yearly charge talked about in the video is for Milwaukee population sizes.  Mount Pleasant would pay an initial cost of $18,000 and a yearly cost of $8,000.