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What is a First Responder system?

Updated: Jan 16

A Jumbo Jet that has crashed on a runway with the inflatable slide deployed

A first responder system is a system in which individuals or teams are dispatched to provide immediate aid and assistance to individuals in emergency situations.

These first responders are often equipped with some equipment and are trained to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving measures until additional medical personnel arrive.

The process of a first responder system typically works as follows:

  1. Call for help: An individual in need of assistance triggers a call to emergency services, such as 9-1-1, 999, 000 or 112 to report the situation.

  2. Dispatch: The emergency dispatch center receives the call and talks to the caller and determines the type of response required based on the information provided. E.g. medical, fire, police and first responders are dispatched to the scene.

  3. Arrival on scene: First responders arrive on the scene as quickly as possible and assess the situation. If Police, Ambulance or Firefighter are trained to prioritize life-threatening conditions and provide the correct immediate attention.

  4. Treatment: First responders are equipped with basic equipment, such as defibrillators, oxygen, and first aid supplies. If it’s a medical emergency they may use equipment to stabilize the patient and provide life-saving measures.

  5. Transport: If necessary, first responders transport the patient to the nearest hospital or medical facility for further treatment.

The role of first responders is critical in providing quick and effective care in emergency situations.

My SOS Family First Responder system

My SOS Family alert service compliments central departments like fire, police, and ambulance first responder emergency services and is built on the same principle follows the same basic process.

The person asking for help knows what they want i.e. fire service, police or an ambulance, opening My SOS Family app is a touch away, as quick as hitting the phone icon.

Once the App opens simply press the large S.O.S. button in the My SOS Family app. the App will call emergency services as well as send alerts to your emergency SOS contacts.

If the user decides they don’t want to call 911/999/000/112 then they can either cancel that call if their slider to call 911/999/000/112 is turned on, or not turn the slider on if it’s turned off (see example in image).

The My SOS Family system calls, SMS's and emails emergency contacts that have been pre-set (added) in the App. these emergency contacts can be changed as often as the user wants themselves.

The SMS and email emergency S.O.S. alerts include a link that allows the emergency contact to see the live location of the sender, see any image or video they may have added and also (new service from March-2023) allows them to join a video group conference call like a Zoom/Skype/G.Meet/Teams call without having to log-in or register – making it the first video chat call service that does this, simply from any browser.

Also the link allows the emergency contact to become the first responder , simply by pressing a button, they have an option to add a short message too, for example to say they are 10 min’s away, as soon as an emergency contact presses the button we at My SOS Family send an SMS to all other emergency contact as well as the person who sent the S.O.S. informing them “who” the first responder is and “any message they’ve added”.

Benefits of the My SOS Family first responder process.

The main benefit is , like government operated first responders (police, ambulance, fire service) the whole force doesn’t turn-up and the rest of the department staff can continue on knowing that first responders have been despatched to the location and if they need further help they will ask.

We know how it feels to ask for help and then be flooded with 5 simultaneous phone calls asking, “what’s up” and “how they can help”, this process becomes a hindrance and it becomes a free-for-all disorganised chaos akin to panic-stations, which is stressful to both the person asking for help, and all the emergency contacts.

Instead, the My SOS Family way let’s everyone know what’s happening and who is dealing with the SOS situation and they won’t get in the way.

Emergency contacts can also become the first responder via the emergency call they receive , the call tells them who needs help and asks them if they can help to simply press “1” on their number pad, the call repeats itself if nothing is entered, which gives time for someone to respond.

They can also become the first responder by simply replying to the SMS with a unique code that we give in the SOS SMS alert, this means that anyone with a basic cell phone or landline can become an emergency contact and a first responder.

My SOS Family also send email alerts, this is beneficial if there is a “no-phone work policy” and at least emergency contacts who sit in front of a computer with email in the background can also receive SOS alerts.

There can only be One first responder.

When the first person responds via the emergency call, the emergency SMS or the emergency email alerts, and becomes the My SOS Family ‘first responder’ , if others also try to become the first responder, My SOS Family tells them that someone else has already taken responsibility, reassuring them that the SOS is being dealt with and who it is, they can then if they wish call the ‘first responder’ rather than the person asking for help.

First responder stuck in traffic.

We understand in an emergency situation, the First Responder may not be able to help because their situation has suddenly changed whilst on route e.g. stuck in traffic.

When we tell the emergency contact they are the First Responder, we also send them a SMS that says “if you are unable to help click this link”, the link allows the First Responder to press a button to “resend the SOS” they can also add a message e.g. “I’m stuck in traffic”

My SOS Family then informs the person asking for help that the first responder is unable to help and the SOS has been resent. Emergency contacts will then receive the emergency alert again as if the person asking for help pressed the SOS button, this time the SOS alerts also inform them that “first responder name” is “unable to help” and it asks them to become the first responder.

No response

If no-one responds to the alerts in terms of becoming the first responder, then after 10 minutes, My SOS Family will update the person asking for help informing them that “no-one has responded to their SOS and would they like to send another SOS”.

My SOS Family do this because they understand no matter how easy a process is, click and press a button, there will be times when emergency contacts may by-pass the first responder process and simply phone the person asking for help.

If that’s the case when they get the update that no-one has responded , they can ignore it, on the other hand, if genuinely no -one has responded , then it’s important the person asking for help is informed and can press the SOS button again.

Repeat without pressing the SOS button.

When registering with the App adding SOS contacts is easy, emergency contacts can be added one-by-one or allowing the App to access the phones contact and selecting which contacts are to added as emergency contacts.

When emergency contacts are added the default setting is to send them emergency S.O.S. alerts immediately , however you can stagger emergency contacts , for example you may want to to have close family, neighbours , friends and co-workers to be sent alerts immediately and then after 3 minutes others you know who a located close to you and perhaps after 7 minutes a slightly wider group of people who live further away, and the first group can be added (duplicate the contact) to receive the delayed alert.

My SOS Family sends alerts instantaneously as a default, but only if no one has responded and become a First Responder, will My SOS Family alert the next group, and again for the next group, this means the outer layers of emergency contacts will never be alerted if anyone in who has received an alert responds, this gives the user an extra layer of support.

Why My SOS Family does this, the My SOS Family service is akin to a manned emergency response call centre which is usually located hundreds of miles away from the person requiring help, therefore they can only do two things, one is to talk to the person requiring help and the other is to call emergency services, the same thing a family member can do who lives hundreds of miles away.

Test drive the service yourself

Experience the service and see if the design works for you, there is a no-obligation 30-day free trial for all users, after 30 days we simply stop sending alerts by SMS and phone unless you like thousands of others decide to improve you or your family's personal safety.


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