I said yes, I can speak Farsi


Recently, we received this story from a 20-something exchange student from Iran studying in the United States.

He shares this language barrier experience in present-tense coming straight from an email he sent to friends immediately after this occurred.

“Tonight as I was driving back home, I saw that a car was hit by another car and there was a lady lying on the ground. Blood had covered her face and she was surrounded by two other guys. One of them was holding her head in his hands. Continue reading

Medical Emergencies and Language Translation

This is the first in a series of stories about emergency medical experiences and language translation. First responders, travelers, and immigrants are sharing the scary, humorous, or dramatic events where the language barrier got in the way of the right treatment at the right time.

Do you have a story to share?  Please share it with us at: hello@1stMinuteApp.com. You may remain anonymous.


We interviewed a female, age 27 from USA. Here is her story: Continue reading

From Hackathon to Startup

RedLine Team with Alex Kreilein DHS sponsor

The AT&T Developer Program recently interviewed us for their Featured Developer showcase.  Last year about this time, we attended a hackathon sponsored by AT&T and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  This is where the idea for the 1st Minute App was born.

For many of us, it was the first hackathon we ever attended.  We didn’t plan on winning 1st place.

But after winning, this confirmed that our mobile app prototype had potential.  Enough potential to gain entry, this June, into the EMERGE program, backed by DHS.

Click here to read the article.

Hospitals Are Using Technology to Solve Language Translation Problems

This news report from ABC in Dallas, TX shows how on-demand video interpreters remove language barriers in hospitals.

Hospital staff in emergency departments say that seconds count and they don’t want that precious time to be lost in translation. At this hospital, 25-30 patients a day arrive that are non-English speakers. The problem of understanding them and providing adequate care is on the rise. This large number also means that some of them were brought there via ambulance and paramedics also had to struggle with the language barrier. Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 1.12.09 PM

First responders and medical personnel want to be the best advocates for their patients. With the technology they use now it takes a minute to get a translator via laptops or iPad. The hospital being featured has helped more than 1000 patients. The say that American Sign Language and Burmese are on the rise for the Dallas-Fort Worth region. How many languages are available through this service? 17 on video. 177 via phone.

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.