Amid mounting concerns about the coronavirus in South Africa, information being shared from other countries, fake news, and news not relevant to our shores are being mixed in with relevant information.
Kerry Hodgkinson, communications manager for 911 Response24 – a service that links users to emergency services using their smartphones – says that during the current crisis the public have increasingly been using incorrect channels such as emergency services for non-life threatening requests, such as for transport to testing centres, or to find the address of their nearest hospital handling the crisis.
“These unnecessary calls block call centres’ lines and are using valuable resources that could be deployed where they are needed most,” she advises.
As a way to partly deal with the problem, and to “provide a service to the people of South Africa during these trying times, and ensure the sharing of correct, official information” 911 Response24 has added a new feature to its premium service on its app, a “Medical Support SA button”, and has launched a free version of the App with the same new functionality.
It is currently available to all South Africans.
The Medical Support SA button links users directly to the company’s centralised National Operations Centre (NOC) where agents are working to assist in qualifying and directing callers to the correct Covid-19 facilities or sources of information.
The 911 Response24 NOC has direct access to official information such as testing centres, hospitals, government support centres, and ER24, one of South Africa’s leading private emergency medical care providers operating 59 bases throughout the country, to both the public and private hospitals.
Marlize Holtzhausen, the founder and CEO of 911 Response24 says: “We desperately want to help our country through this crisis. Every life matters and we hope to make a difference to every person in South Africa.”
For full functionality and access to armed response and emergency medical services, users should subscribe to the Premium Service (the details of which are in-app).
The Citizen has also partnered with 911 Response24 to offer access to the service for our digital subscribers.
Additional info on the app
911 Response24 is an award-winning app that brings armed response and emergency medical services, through its premium service, directly to you using your phone’s GPS location to automatically dispatch responders to your exact location.
How to download the app
- Download the App for free from your favourite App store using link: https://l.ead.me/bbIBri
- Register by providing your name, surname, cell number and email address – create a password and press “complete registration”.
- The screen below will come up as the “Free” version of the App which is available to all South Africans.
- The new “Medical Support SA” button links you directly to our National Operations Centre.
- An important feature is the Friends & Family button– users can add friends and family’s information from their cell phone’s address book. In the case of an emergency alert, they will be notified and can keep track of the user’s progress.
- It is important for users to activate their location services setting on the app so that it can accurately pinpoint their location and give exact local information.
- It is also important for users to note that their data must be switched on in order to use the app. The app uses minimal data when in use.
Background information on 911 Response24
911 Response24 is an award-winning app that brings armed response and emergency medical services to you when your life is at risk. Using sophisticated technology, the app uses your GPS location to automatically dispatch responders to your exact location, even if you can’t talk or don’t know where you are.
Born out of a traumatic family experience, 911 Response24 was developed by Marlize Holtzhausen in 2014, and has gone on to win multiple global technology awards including the Global Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Google’s prestigious Google Fest; and first prize in the ICT Category as Most Innovative, and Most Scalable Microsoft and International Labour organisation award.
Partnering with a local industry giants, including Bidvest Protea Coin, and emergency medical response provider ER24, has given 911 Response24 the power to make a serious difference in the lives of more South Africans. An investment from Caxton has provided a strategic partnership to take the business to the next level.
Direct integration into call centres means your closest hospital or emergency response station is immediately identified. You don’t need to know the numbers or location of your nearest police station or hospital.
How does it work?
Your location is tracked and shared with first responders to remove communication barriers for faster response times.
In an emergency, you often can’t ask for help, never mind accurately communicate your address. When an emergency is triggered, 911 Response24 automatically shares your GPS co-ordinates with all response members and emergency services. You will also be able to track the live locations of all responders as they get to you, so you know that help really is on the way.
Premium services are available
Seconds save lives
Using the 911 Response24 app eliminates unnecessary communication, reducing response times from alert to first responder dispatch by at least five minutes. Whether you are at home, your local shopping centre, visiting relatives in the next town, or away from home on business or for leisure, 911 Response24 has you covered wherever you go in South Africa.
From the time an alert is triggered, everyone is kept updated. You, your friends and family and emergency personnel can all see when help has been dispatched in real time.
Armed response wherever you are
Our technology automatically dispatches an armed response vehicle to your exact location when you feel threatened – even if you can’t talk or don’t know where you are.
Medical services when you need them
Your medical emergency alert triggers an instant reaction directly through to ER24 who will dispatch the nearest available ER24 response team to you.
Your GPS co-ordinates will lead all responders directly to you. If you are moved to a medical facility, your friends and family will be able to track your progress and can meet you there.
Notify your friends and family
By adding friends and family to your profile, you can let loved ones know about your situation so that they can assist, monitor or support you until response teams reach you.
Additional features like the Support Services function use your GPS location to find facilities such as the nearest police station, hospital, petrol station or embassy. Great for when you’re travelling or aren’t familiar with the area.
Customers can subscribe directly to the 911 Response24 App by downloading it for free from the Google Play store or Apple’s iTunes store.
For a nominal monthly fee of only R59.99 per user, per month, users have access to armed response services across South Africa, as well as direct access to ER24.
Phone: 010 312 5026 / Marlize 083-327-0177