Community: Red Cross puts first aid at your fingertips

The British Red Cross is giving an early Christmas present to smartphone users around the world with the launch of its debut first aid app.

With its first-ever, free and life-saving app, the British Red Cross will empower smartphone users across the world to act in an emergency.

The app features simple, easy-to-understand advice on 18 everyday first aid scenarios, as well as tips on how to prepare for emergencies, from severe winter weather to road traffic accidents.

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Available for Apple, Android and Blackberry, the innovative free app features videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice - allowing users to save lives at a swipe of their touchscreens.

The information, including videos, is all hosted on the app itself, meaning no internet connection is needed, making it fast and easy to access.

The charity’s Rosemary Estherby hopes that people across the region will see the benefits of the new app.

She said: “It’s vital that everybody knows basic first aid skills to help themselves and the people around them, and this app is a great way to reach people who may never go to a class. By harnessing mobile technology, with this app anyone can have life-saving skills at their fingertips.

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“Mobile markets anticipate a growth for as many as two billion smartphones a year and our new and first-ever app is a step in adjusting our services to anticipate this massive change. We are positive that as one of the leading agencies in this field, our app will make positive humanitarian difference,” he added.

Studies by the charity show that, although 81 per cent of people believe everyone should know basic first aid, just half of those surveyed felt confident they would be able to help if someone collapsed in front of them.

Rosemary said: “Nearly two-thirds of the public avoid learning first aid because they fear the perceived responsibility it carries, and worry they would do something wrong. On testing the app, we’ve found users to be more prepared to deal with emergencies such as burns and an unconscious casualty as a result of using the app.

“We believe that having basic first aid skills helps keep families and communities safer. The Red Cross encourages everybody to take the responsibility to learn first aid before an emergency strikes.

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“This app makes our knowledge and experience in first aid readily accessible to smartphone users who can not only access it instantly when they need it, but also allows them to learn first aid at a time that suits them,” he added.

The current version of the app contains apt advice for the Christmas and holiday seasons. It also features winter weather tips on response and preparedness of the cold season. These are in line with the Ready for Winter campaign which has been launched by the Red Cross to get the public to arm themselves with essentials in the event of a cold snap.

To download the British Red Cross first aid app, use the Quick Response (QR) codes at or find it on iTunes AppStore, Android Market or Blackberry Appworld.