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Can a Mobile App Help Save Lives?

Yes, says the American Red Cross. Today, it has launched its official first aid app, putting free and simple lifesaving information right in the hands of smartphone users.

This app is the first in a series to be created by the American Red Cross, an organization providing first aid and emergency preparedness information. It’s also said to be the only first aid app created or endorsed by the American Red Cross for use on both the Android and iPhone platforms.

It gives instant access to information on how to handle the most common first aid situations, and includes videos and interactive quizzes. Users who take quizzes can earn badges they can share with friends through social media to show off their lifesaving knowledge.

The app takes critical first aid information normally stored on bookshelves and in pamphlets and places it at the fingertips of individuals – which will save lives. The Red Cross app includes Red Cross disaster preparedness information for a number of common situations.

“The penetration of personal smartphone ownership in the U.S. has recently risen above 60 percent and will likely soon reach the level of traditional wire line phones,” said Jack McMaster, president, Preparedness and Health and Safety Services at the Red Cross.

“The broad availability of this platform opens a new opportunity for us to create custom apps, free of charge, tailored to specific emergencies confronting individuals no matter where they are.”

App features include:

  • Simple step-by-step instructions for everyday first aid scenarios;
  • Prioritized steps to take during an emergency, with 9-1-1 call button;
  • Sharable badges to be unlocked through interactive quizzes;
  • Videos and animations to make learning first aid fun and easy;
  • Safety and preparedness tips for a range of conditions including severe winter weather, hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes;
  • Preloaded content that gives instant access to all safety information at any time.

The app is free and available for iPhone and Android users. You can find the app in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.

The new app builds on the American Red Cross legacy of teaching first aid and lifesaving skills to people across the country. An average of more than 9 million people a year receive Red Cross training in first aid, water safety and other skills that help save lives.

Downloading the app is not a substitute for training, according to American Red Cross.

Photo courtesy: American Red Cross

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