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New App Calls 911 And Notifies Family In Two Taps

February 26, 2014

CERT members in training. In the case of his aunt and uncle, who both live in Pennsylvania, Tran said they were fortunate to survive the heart attacks though circumstances could have been different. Time to relay information to 911 dispatchers is critical, and there are incidents, he said, where theres no guarantee victims will be conscious long enough to complete calls to 911 or anyone else. My aunt had the more serious situation where she wasnt feeling well and then she called 911. When the ambulance came, it turned out she needed emergency open heart surgery, he said. Thats why I made this app. I made it for my parents; I made it for my aunt. I basically made it for all of my family members. Useful features of the app include its Nearby tab that offers a directory of non-emergency services in the area. Police and fire stations, hospitals, auto repair shops, towing companies, motels and more are listed with their location and phone number. The app is easily modified too. If out of the country, for example, the autodial 911 button can be edited to call a different emergency number. The number of relatives can likewise be altered with no limit to how many are sent emergency notifications. It also works on a Wi-Fi network during poor cellular service. Yet the most critical function, Tran said, is its quick call efficiency that requires a mere two taps on an iPhone three on an Android to call dispatchers. IPhone users need only to open the app and push its large rectangular red button for help. Whenever I design something I try not to let the user have to try and figure things out, Tran said. Everything I do [in design] is always in their face, thats the best way I can put it. He cautions, however, that this app should not be easily accessible to children because "there's no safeguard." Once the red button is hit theres no turning back, a 911 call will be made and first responders will be knocking. Depending on demand, there may be a few additional features added in the near future. Things such as easy access to cellphone cameras would be helpful for documentation and recording, Tran said. Other improvements may include a way to navigate between 911 Help SMS' menu and his popular app Fix311, used to report roadway damage.

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