Language Barrier for 1st Responders

This video from ABC News highlights an ongoing problem: the inability to communicate with non-English speakers during an emergency situation.

When paramedics arrive on a scene requiring their attention, most of the time the person is conscious and speaking but in more and more cases they do not speak English. Even before that, when a 911 dispatcher gets a call but is unable to understand the non-English speaker, all available resources are sent to the scene. With more police on patrol than Fire/EMS available, it’s the police that normally show up first. Getting vital information is a group effort. Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 1.06.21 PM

More patients than ever before don’t speak English. Local fire departments and EMS are having a tough time especially when 80% of calls involve Spanish speakers and only 10-20% of their staff can speak Spanish.  Is the answer to hire more foreign language paramedics? Or are there technology solutions that can bridge the gap? When there is little time to spare, swift action saves lives.

1stMinute App was created to solve the language translation problem paramedics face.

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