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Emergency +: mobile app user guide
  1. Nash Anderson,
  2. Natalie Sharp
  1. Enhance Healthcare, Mitchell, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Mr Nash Anderson, Enhance Healthcare, 10/141 Flemington Rd, Mitchell ACT 2911, Australia; nash.anderson{at}gmail.com

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Name of the mobile application

Emergency +

Category of the mobile application

Utilities

Platform

Android (2.3 and above), iOS (6.0 or later)

Cost

Free

About the app

It is given that at some point, when working on a sporting sideline, you will have to make a call to emergency services. These scenarios can be unexpected and at times, life threatening.

It is essential that in the event of an emergency, you know the correct phone number to call to receive the appropriate assistance. 

Reasons for calling emergency services may include:

  • Someone is seriously injured or in need of urgent medical help

  • Life or property is being threatened

  • A serious accident or crime has been witnessed

Locations for sporting events can be remote, especially when working with lower level or junior age groups. To speed up the response time of emergency services, it is important to know your exact location, stay calm and focus on the situation.

A new app is on the scene called ‘Emergency +’, which aims to make this situation easier.

Australia’s emergency services, their government and industry partners have developed ‘Emergency +’, an app to help people call the right emergency services at the right time anywhere in Australia (figure 1). This app is geographically limited to Australia; however, this type of app would be useful if features and services are translated to other regions. The mobile phone’s global positioning system (GPS) functionality provides the call maker with location information in the form of latitude and longitude co-ordinates. ‘Emergency +’ also includes important non-emergency numbers such as the State Emergency Services (SES), Police Assistance Line and the Poisons Information Hotline.

Figure 1

Screenshot of map and coordinates page.

Over 65% of calls to Australian emergency services are made from mobile phones. This app allows the user to know their exact location and the phone numbers of appropriate services, improving response times and freeing up dispatchers to receive more calls (figure 2). This app also helps to reduce the number of non-emergency calls made to emergency numbers.1

Figure 2

Screenshot of urgent service directory.

Use in clinical practice

Knowledge of the general area and nearest cross street are important pieces of information to know for sports clinicians working at any location. This app allows clinicians to quickly and efficiently identify their location and make emergency calls to the appropriate service. One usage of this app is that it enables a clinician to continue to provide emergency care, while delegating the task of making the call to a bystander.

This app has been used to save lives. One example in the media was of a 56-year-old female walker who was lost in dense bush in outer Sydney. On calling emergency services and mentioning that she was lost, dispatchers recommended that she download the Emergency + app so that she could be found. This enabled emergency services to know her exact location. This sped up the response time by the rescue service to ensure she survived.2

Pros

  • An Emergency + training video is available online on the Fire & Rescue NSW YouTube page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hThHoRNhEnQ&feature

  • Due to the built-in GPS function, accurate location information is provided, often within a number of metres.

  • This app provides a clear interface to contact emergency services.

  • A great database of useful information, for example, Police, Fire, Rescue, SES, also now Poisons information & National Crime numbers.

Cons

  • Only available for Australian locations and services.

  • Location services such as GPS use a lot of battery power. This service can drastically limit battery life in an emergency situation. The ability to eliminate non-essential phone functions and apps such as bluetooth and GPS when they are not required would be useful.

  • Although the longitude and latitude are likely to be extremely accurate, the estimated location is different from the actual location. This is described in the ter ms and conditions: ‘(iii) the availability and accuracy of GPS information is subject to limitations arising due to availability of signals, the relevant mobile device, location and geography’.

References

Footnotes

  • NA and NS contributed equally.

  • Twitter Follow Nash Anderson at @sportmednews.

  • Contributors Equal contribution between NS and NA. Both the authors equally created and added content, refined and proofread this article before submission.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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