By Sondra Foo, Singapore Red Cross
In conjunction with this year’s theme ‘Youth on the Move’, the Singapore Red Cross launched an innovative location-based mobile application, ‘Rapid Rescue’ at the World Red Cross Day (WRCD) celebrations at Playtrium@Big Splash, Singapore.
The mobile application enables an injured person to send out an SOS to trained volunteers within a 2km radius. It also maps the fastest route for certified first aiders to reach the victim, enabling them to provide first aid assistance before the ambulance arrives. Available for iOS devices for now, this ‘Rapid Rescue’ application can be downloaded via the Singapore iTunes Store. The application will also be made available to other smart phone users in the future. The Singapore Red Cross worked with global marketing firm, JWT to utilise smart phone technology and location-based software to develop the mobile application.
“With the 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.
Besides the launch of the Rapid Rescue application, SRC also showcased the First Aiders on Wheels (FAOW) programme at the WRCD celebrations. Under this programme, first aid trained and certified volunteer cyclists and roller bladders have been patrolling East Coast Park in Singapore on weekends since February to provide first aid treatment to those in need, and to share first aid tips with park-goers. Up to 10 volunteer, from a pool of 150, work each shift – Saturdays from 2.30pm to 7pm and Sundays from 10am to 2.30pm and 2.30pm to 4pm. Their bicycles carry the Red Cross flags and a sign-board that indicates “U need first aid? Stop Me!”
A first aid post was also set up for those who can make their own way to seek treatment. In the first three months of operation, over 300 people were treated in the centre. The most common injuries are abrasions and falls.
In line with the theme, ‘Youth on the Move’, Guest of Honour, Mdm Halimah Yacob, the Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports, encouraged young people 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 about 10 per cent of Singaporians are trained in first aid. It is a goal by the National First Aid Council to have a first aider in every home by 2020.
“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 Mr Benjamin William, Secretary General, Singapore Red Cross.