Singapore Red Cross Launches National Life Saving App on World Red Cross Day
- Rapid Rescue App empowers those facing medical emergencies to use their phone to locate trained first aiders in their vicinity
- Youths encouraged to acquire first aid skills
Singapore May 19 2012 – To commemorate World Red Cross Day, Singapore Red Cross (SRC) launched an innovative location-based app to enable those facing medical emergencies to use their iPhone to seek assistance from first aiders. At the celebratory event held as part of worldwide celebrations to remember the founding of the Red Cross movement and its enduring efforts to serve humanity in the community, more than 500 youths and members of the public learnt some basic life saving skills
Singapore Red Cross had partnered global marketing firm JWT to leverage smart phone technology and location based software to develop a mobile application Rapid Rescue. The app will enable an injured person to send out an SOS to first aid trained volunteers within a 2km radius. This pro-bono effort on the part of JWT will make first aid even more accessible to the community. “With Rapid Rescue app, we can deliver first aid even faster to the community. This can make a difference between life and death for victims in an emergency,” said Mr Tee Tua Ba, Chairman, Singapore Red Cross.
“For those who are injured, this app means that we could access help from just around the corner in a matter of seconds. We’re extremely excited to partner with the Red Cross to provide such community first aid services. We hope to also implement this app in the region,” said Jun Fukawa, Chief Creative Officer at JWT Singapore.
During an emergency, registered users can activate the app which will in turn alert trained first aiders in the vicinity. These volunteer first aiders can respond immediately on their handphones if available. The app would map out the shortest route to the victim so the first aiders can provide assistance before the ambulance arrives. Currently there are over 12,000 certified first aiders trained by Singapore Red Cross. On average the humanitarian organisation certifies over 7,000 first aiders each year and these will be amongst the pioneer users of the app, offering critical community first aid services.
The public can download this life saving app on http://itunes.apple.com/app/id521587715. In future the app will also be available to other smart phone users.
Youths Encouraged to Embrace First Aid Skills, Volunteer and ‘Make the Move
In line with the theme of ‘Youth on the Move‘ Guest of Honour at the World Red Cross Day event, Mdm Halimah Yacob, Minister of State, Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports encouraged youths to embrace the challenge of learning first aid ‘to give back to society. “Just like the app, youths can make the move and be powerful enablers when they learn first aid. It is a privilege to be able to provide first aid to someone in need and we can all be part of a caring and active community.” Currently only approximately 10% in Singapore are trained in first aid. The National First Aid Council has a goal to have a first aider in every home by 2020.
Also in action at the event were the SRC First Aiders on Wheels. SRC hopes to mobilise youths equipped with first aid skills to increase the number of volunteers participating in the First Aider on Wheels (FAOW) programme. Under the FAOW, volunteers trained in first aid cycle/ skate along East Coast Park during the weekends to provide first aid treatment to those in need. “Singapore Red Cross is constantly reviewing and identifying the real needs in our local community and innovating to better meet such critical needs. In engaging youths in active and positive service, we are multiplying the power of humanity,” said Benjamin William, Secretary General, Singapore Red Cross.
About World Red Cross Day
The Red Cross Movement was founded by a Swiss national Henri Dunant. After witnessing The Battle of Solferino in 1859, Dunant took the initiative to organise the civilian population to provide assistance to the injured and sick soldiers, without regard to their side in the conflict. In memory of his action for humanity, his birth date day has been set aside to honour all those who contribute to ongoing efforts to relieve human suffering and safeguard human dignity.
About First Aiders on Wheels
First Aiders on Wheels programme is a community first aid programme to assist injured park-goers. These volunteers patrol along over 10 km along East Coast Park on their bicycles and roller blades during weekends. The programme also aims to promote awareness of the importance of learning first aid. There are approximately 150 registered volunteers. They have successfully completed the Standard First Aid course from the Red Cross Training Centre. On average the volunteers treat up to 10 people a day. Most of the injuries treated include abrasions, sprains, cuts and bruises.