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Founded in 2013 by AJ Leahy and Lukas Lampe, POM Safe was developed on the belief, “that we can protect the people that we love through technology, awareness, and community.” After suffering a tragedy related to campus violence, AJ felt that there needed to be a better way for vulnerable individuals to ensure their safety. With the help of lifetime friend and software engineer Lukas Lampe, the device was developed. Unlike the typical emergency 911 response system, which fails to obtain caller location in 63% of its calls, the POM Safe device immediately connects you to a response team who can see your profile information and GPS location, and can link individuals to help instantaneously POM Safe ensures that these individuals and others are not really alone when they are by themselves.
The other primary issue with the current system of emergency reporting is that trying to access a phone takes away precious seconds of response time for those who may not have it. With just pressing and holding the device button, whether through a pocket or in hand, the POM Safe device is triggered and sent to dispatchers immediately. POM Safe offers different options in its emergency response, which can vary from sending a text message with precise GPS location, gaining one-on-one access to a dispatcher as walking assistance to and from a destination, or even creating a fake phone call to deflect from an uncomfortable situation.
Not every emergency situation involves a criminal and a victim. Many emergencies can be health related and often have a direct link to underlying or ongoing health conditions. POM Safe offers personalized features that allow its consumers to create a profile where they can specify current physical or health conditions. That way, the dispatcher can better understand situational emergencies and ensure that they are not just providing help, but the help that YOU need.
POM Safe is based on an unfortunate but not extreme circumstance. One of AJ’s closest childhood friends was killed due to an act of violence on a college campus. His friend was a graduate student at Temple University in Philadelphia. One night while walking home from the bars with his girlfriend and another friend of theirs, they were confronted by a group of men trying to rob them and a fight broke out. During the fight, his friend was knocked unconcious and his girlfriend ended up calling 911.
Initially, 911 placed her on hold for a long time, then she had to run to the nearest cross street and describe her surroundings in order to be located by emergency services, since 70% of the time 911 does not have the location of the caller. To make matters worse, there was a blue light pole about 100ft from the incident, but due to the students not being trained about what they are or how to use them, she could not make use of it. All of these factors contributed to a slow response time from emergency responders, and unfortunately AJ’s friend passed away. AJ saw this as a solvable problem, and dedicated himself to creating a business solution that would shorten the response time, allowing those who needed help to receive it right away.
The general idea for the POM Safe device originated from the incident. “She called 911 and couldn’t get the help she needed quickly enough. The data was not sent.” So, AJ and his co-founder Lukas spent time doing field research at colleges and in PSAP centers in order to develop a product that would solve this problem. Using the information from their research, they came up with the idea of a handheld device that would immediately transfer all the necessary information to the operator, and would allow response time to be much quicker than with just a 911 call.
The overall impact of the POM Safe is to enhance the personal safety and well-being of the user who may be vulnerable to danger or violence. The POM Safe allows its users to easily and effectively send an instant GPS location to 911 Emergency, when in distress while simultaneously connecting them with an emergency response team. The devices trigger method being an easily accessible push buttom allows for the users with even the least amount of strength to connect with help. This accessibility allows for the POM Safe to cut down on the precious time wasted while waiting to connect to 911 emergency via a cell phone as well as the strength it takes to provide the users location to emergency operators. Overall, the impact of the POM Safe is to promote peace, justice, and a strong emergency response through its reliable and effective means of personal safety and security.
Since the launch of POM, the company has partnered with 50+ clients that include major universities and large healthcare providers. POM is contracted out to these universities, and the press of a button will contact the university’s police department instantly. With how high crime rates are across college campuses, more universities are contracting POM to provide protection to their college students, furthering the original mission of Andrew and Lukas: to stop campus crime.
After growing across over forty campuses, POM became the first universal safety device in hospitals, and healthcare environments. Most hospitals have a safety system within the hospital walls, but once nurses have to leave the building, there is no longer a form of safety for them to ensure nothing bad can happen. 3 of the top 10 hospitals in the northeast have bought in on the idea of POM Safe. They have contracted POM to ensure their nurses inside and out of the hospital are safe from their patients, and anyone who may look to attack them on the streets between houses, etc. As the company continues to grow, they will soon look to break into the consumer market, and continue to provide that additional layer of protection for their customers
The social benefit that POM Safe offers is an additional layer of safety to college students, their families, healthcare professionals, and anyone else who may feel unsafe on a daily basis. For college students, it allows them to feel comforted by the ability to prevent crimes with just the click of a button. With ultra-fast response times, POM allows a first-responder to answer the call through the microphone almost instantly. This allows first-responders to have the location of the individual, as well as deters criminals from pursuing the individual any further. These stories usually go unnoticed in the news, but it does happen on a daily basis: students being robbed at gunpoint, sexually assaulted, and aggravated assault, to name a few of the many crimes occurring on college campuses. For their parents, it is an additional layer of safety that their children will be safe on campus. If anything were to happen, their child will have a quick response; without having to know where they are, and to wait for first responders to get to them in an appropriate amount of time.
For healthcare workers, they experience a similar, yet widely different experience than that of college students and their families. For college students, they immediately want to cry for help to ensure that they are in a safe environment. For healthcare workers, POM Safe is usually used for in-home nurses who are taking care of individuals with a mental or physical disability. According to Andrew, it has already saved many healthcare workers from physical and mental abuse from patients with disabilities who tried to trap their nurses in their home. One patient in particular pushed his piano in front of the door of his apartment, and forced his nurse to listen to him play songs he wrote about them for hours. In this case, the nurse did not have a POM Safe device, and was fearful to call the police because things could have gotten worse if he knew that they were on their way. If the nurse had a POM Safe device at the time of the incident, she could have been able to fake a phone call to get out, or silently call the police to help her in this situation.
At the end of the day, the founders of POM created a device solely to help save maybe one person. No matter whether they were making a profit or not, they were going to be content if their product saved just one person from going through what could be the worst day of their life.
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Andrew Leahy, CEO
Violent crimes occur once every 25 seconds in our country today. Every year, countless individuals in campus communities, healthcare and other workforce professions are subject to danger and violence while performing their daily routines and obligations. POM Safe offers a quick-use personal safety device intended to enhance workforce and campus safety. In addition to these target markets, the device serves as a safety outlet for anyone who may be trying to ensure their everyday safety and well-being. POM Safe promotes good health and well being, as well as peace, justice, and strong institutions.