четверг, 2 апреля 2015 г.

How this app accidentally saved lives of hundreds of Australians

2 years ago we have released a simple application without any design. To create SMS templates with preset addresses and text, laying them on the desktop as a widget. And sending messages in 1 or 2 clicks. We just came up with the daily routine for the same messages: "I'm home", "I on my way", "Good Morning" and so on. We didn't consider this app outstanding.

After a while the users opened the possibility of using it a completely different: they began using these templates to start their cars remotely and even turning on boilers in the smart houses.

A year ago (March 23, 2014) we have received the following letter:

"Hi, your sms template app is really good and as a firefighter, I am going to use it to alert the rest of my brigade when we get a callout, as not everyone has a pager. There is one feature that I would like to have that I do not think this app has (I'm not sure if it is even possible) ... 
(followed by questions and tips).

A year later we wrote to him, asking if he began to use the application to extinguish fires. And he replied "yes":


Yes I use it in firefighting to alert other firefighters in our brigade that there is an incident callout for the brigade.

Once I am informed (by phone call or pager) that my brigade is being called to an incident (fire or car accident etc) I use your app to inform all the brigade members that we have a callout. I do not give any specific information - I just use a group template I have set up. It just says "#CALLOUT#" and I send it using a shortcut / widget with your two-click option.

All the members have an app called "Fire Alert 2" on their phones, which uses "#CALLOUT#" as the trigger to sound an alarm on their phone and displays the message regardless of whether the phone is in silent mode or not.

It works really well as a quick (less than 5 seconds) method for me to alert others before I leave myself ... " (and so on)

Then we decided to find out where he lives and to ask a few more questions. And the main thing that was interesting: as far as this our application is only for Android. Is it possible that all Australians use only Android (it turned out - yes)?

Here are the questions and answers.

1. What city and country are you from?

Burringbar, New South Wales, Australia.

2. Why you use non-professional app for your job? Is there professional apps?

The official dispatch service does not use sms / apps at all. It uses pagers and phone calls to the Captain. These pagers are not issued to everyone (especially new members) as they are expensive. Also in our area, we have a lot of trouble with pager reception, which operate on a fire Brigade tower network. The Sms app is very useful to both members without a pager and as a backup to members with a pager.

3. Do you have and are you involved in a regular firefighting team?

Yes. It is a Volunteer Brigade, with about 10 active members. When there is a callout, all of these members are alerted and whoever is available at the time responds to the incident.

5. How come, that all firefighters have Android phones?

Android is now the most common phone OS in Australia. There is one other member who sends out the alerts like I do with your app and we both have android phones. The rest of the members have android or iPhones, and the receiving app (fire alert 2) is available on both android and iPhone.

In the last letter we thanked him for the use of our program, saying that saving lives adds more meaning to our work.
Link to Application: lite version, full version.

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