accessibility & help

“Alexa, open first aid”: Red Cross launches first aid skill for Amazon Echo

12 April 2017

The British Red Cross has launched a new first aid skill on Amazon Echo to allow people to access first aid advice in their home. 

The free voice recognition app (also known as ‘Alexa skills’) uses spoken instructions to teach people a range of skills, including how to treat a severe bleed, a burn and a seizure.  

The Red Cross is the only first aid education provider in the UK to pioneer a first aid skill for the device.

Joe Mulligan, British Red Cross head of first aid education, said: “Our new skill for Amazon Echo will teach people simple first aid so they feel well prepared to help someone in an emergency.

“We hope that spoken instructions will make it even easier for people to learn these skills.

“This is a very exciting time for us. We’ll be developing this product all the time based on user feedback, and we’re looking forward to seeing this product grow.”

How does it work?

Amazon Echo is a smart speaker capable of voice interaction and music playback. It can also make to-do lists and set alarms.

Once ‘First Aid by the British Red Cross’ is installed, users will be able to get step-by-step first aid advice by giving voice commands. For example:

“Alexa, open first aid.”The first aid logo of a white cross on a green background. © Info

“Alexa, ask first aid how to treat a nose bleed.” 

The skill will then give spoken instructions on how to manage the situation.

Simple first aid could save lives

Red Cross research recently revealed that up to 59 per cent of deaths from injury could be prevented if first aid was given before the emergency medical services arrived.

The study found that while 93 per cent of people will call for an ambulance if they find someone with an injury, first aid intervention of any kind was infrequent.

Around half did not attempt any first aid while waiting for the emergency medical services to arrive.

The British Red Cross skill seeks to educate people in first aid as part of their daily lives, making them more confident and better equipped to step in and help in emergency situations.

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