(KTLA) – In an emergency, every second counts. Calling 911 is the nationwide standard, but there are some apps that promise to get you the help you need fast. Here’s a look.
Rescu App, $59-$99 a year
Rescu says they can connect you with help in a high-tech way that takes just two clicks.
“It’s just simply the fastest way to get help. It’s truly remarkable how fast it is,” started Paolo Piscatelli, Founder & CEO of Rescu Saves Lives, the company that makes the app.
Piscatelli started the app after his father had a medical emergency and found it tough to talk to 911 operators to relay his condition and location.
“He wasn’t able to communicate efficiently because he was in so much pain… words weren’t coming out efficiently, he was just groaning,” explained Piscatelli.
Rescu lets you type in all your information in advance: who you are, where you live and work, plus any existing medical conditions.
“Everything’s already communicated in seconds because you’ve already preloaded all your information into the app and then we sequence everything in a nice, engineered way where you can get the fastest response from your local jurisdiction, your local authorities,” said Piscatelli.
Open the app and then it’s just one tap for police, fire or an ambulance dispatch.
“911 is built on technology that’s over 100 years old, whereas we’re using server to server and cloud technology so we’re able to pass information and send information in a much cleaner and faster way,” concluded Piscatelli.
OnStar Guardian App, $15 a month
No doubt you’ve heard of OnStar’s in-car help. Now, the assistance familiar to millions of drivers is available through a standalone app.
“What that does is let our customers experience that peace of mind in any vehicle,” explained Laura Thornton, who handles marketing for OnStar.
For $15 a month, you get access to OnStar’s automatic crash assistance feature for up to seven family members. A notification on your phone when you start driving lets you know it’s working.
“You actually get this nice little notification that says ride detected, OnStar Guardian is here with you,” said Thornton.
The app is constantly monitoring for accidents while you’re moving. If one is detected, it will trigger a call from an advisor and send help, if necessary, even if you can’t speak. The app can also start the call on speakerphone.
“[OnStar advisors] are trained the same way that first responders are trained. So, it’s something very important to us and we believe it’s a real differentiator for why our product exists and what sets it apart to your point, from just calling 911,” concluded Thornton.
OnStar is also now available through Amazon’s smart speakers at home. Once you add the skill, you can get access to the same emergency help by saying “Alexa, call for help.”