Red Cross First Aid app turns phones into life saving tools

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - What if you were in the middle of all that chaos in Boston or the plant explosion in Texas? Would you be able to help those who were injured? In the aftermath of those tragedies, Red Cross officials are encouraging everyone to take advantage of a free first aid service.

Who can forget those horrific images just moments after the bombs exploded in the Boston marathon? Ordinary citizens emerged as heroes. Carlos Arredondo jumped into action to help a severely wounded victim. Arredondo was reportedly trained by the Red Cross.

"You saw a lot of the National Guard and some folks that were just standing there, pulling down some of the barricades to go in and help those folks who were right by the areas that were affected," said Jay Huffstatler, Red Cross South MS Chapter Executive Director.

Huffstatler said that initial care was critical as first responders rushed to the scene. Now, if you encounter emergencies like burns, bleeding, or broken bones, you can get access to first aid information right in the palm of your hand.

With your Iphone or Android mobile device, you can download a free "Red Cross First Aid" app. The app provides step-by-step instructions on how to handle a health crisis from allergies to heart attacks.

"When the phones went down in the Boston area, some folks weren't able to get on the Internet and make telephone calls and things of the sort. But this app is on your phone. You can quickly pull it up, search to the burns, search to the stress, pull up the 3-4 tips that you can do to help until the first responder gets there," said Huffstatler.

Huffstatler said with this free service, people are better prepared to act when disaster strikes.

"You could pull it up and help save someone's life, you never know," said Huffstatler. "The app itself is not meant to take the replace of the actual licensed nurse or doctor or anything like this. This basically helps that person that's been in distress or been affected by some type of wound or affected by disaster."

The app also features a check-list to help you prepare for natural disasters and other emergencies. It also has a quiz so you can test your first aid knowledge. The only topic it does not cover is CPR.

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