I blogged on this subject recently so I was pleasantly surprised to see an article on First Coast News’ website answering the dilemma that the First Coast has, along with several other areas across the country. 911 Centers across the country and here in Northeast Florida have trouble findings someone who dial from a cell phone for help. One app developer has answered the call for help and says what he’s made will help 911 find you when their systems fail. Dr. Minh Tran of 911 Help SMS first developed the app, it was an app that would inform his family members that he needed help. As I informed our readers last week, despite hundreds of apps on your phone that know where you are, 911 centers across the country and here on the First Coast don’t always get a cell callers exact location. Dr. Tran’s app gives you a better shot at being found by 911 operators when you call from your cell phone. He says his free app for IPhone and Android called 911 Help SMS, gives you better and quicker location information. It’s also equipped to Text 911 in counties that offer that service. So far, no counties on the First Coast do. “The map has an app and gives you an address so you can relay the information to 911,” Tran said. The app will also notify family members where you are in an emergency. So how could we use this app here on the First Coast? We could alert a family member where we are and they can convey the information to the 911 center. A First Coast News reporter showed us how. A reporter from First Coast News put the app to the test when they sent an alert to another First Coast News employee’s phone. An alert popped up just like a test message and correctly identified where the reporter sent the alert from. “On the map it will show you the coordinates and you can relay the information if you need to,” Tran explained. Coordinates are important if you’re on the water or in the woods where there isn’t an address to pass along to the operator. “In the future I hope that when we call 911, that not only do they know our location, but our medical allergies, our health problems, so they know how to deal with the victim when they get to the scene,” he said. Tran’s app “911 Help SMS” is available for download on iPhone and Android. Next week, he’ll meet with the Federal Communications Commission to share what he’s learned about the 911 system and how he says his app provides an added layer of safety for consumers.
Click here to learn more about “911 Help SMS”: http://911helpsms.com/
Click here to learn more about Text to 911: http://www.fcc.gov/text-to-911