Need To Phone The Cops?

Hopefully you haven’t been there yet. And hopefully you never will be.  But if you need to call the police and can’t speak Spanish, this is the app for you. Or, if you’re feeling a little bit apprehensive about living here, this is the app for you. Or if you think your concrete house is going to burn down this is the app for you.

This application was created by two partners who share a combined 45 years of living in all parts of Mexico. They also share a combined 25 years of online experience running a major network dedicated to US veterans, giving them the perfect skill set. They built the app due to the lack of English speaking 911 operators here in Mexico. Some states and cities have a part time operator who speaks some English, but you need to get real lucky to find one when you need one. There are other states that don’t even pretend to have any English speaking operators. This is a big problem if you are facing a life threatening situation and are unable to explain what type of emergency responder you need. Or, how about your address? How do you explain that? Around the corner and a half a block up from the Corona sign? Which Corona sign would that be? The yellow one? Ha ha. Yeah, right. We suggest you have a plan. If this app is on your phone and you’ve paid your dues, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week you have help.

The application was built on GPS technology which allows them to know where you are an to report your emergency to them and they will intercede with the appropriate help from the nearest first responder. The GPS takes its feed from your phone. You do need a cell signal or wifi. You also must have mobile data on your phone in order for GPS to work. This means that if you are covered even when not in your home. If you have a car accident and report the emergency, they can send emergency services to your location. There is support for both Android and IPhone

The application is simple to use. There are three emergency buttons that you can push once inside the app, one for police, one for ambulance, and one  for fire. When you click which emergency situation you’re having, you can then add a message as well. This message and alert will be received by the app team and they promise to call you immediately to ask for any additional details. Then they will call 911 on your behalf and report your emergency. Once they have checked in with the first responders, they will then contact your family back home in the US or Canada. They will also call any neighbors, family, loved ones and even local doctors that you have in your predetermined contacts to let them know about your situation.

On your profile page, you will be able to fill out contact forms. You are allowed to fill in three contacts here in Mexico, and one contact from the United States or Canada. As in your next of kin. After your emergency has been reported to 911, they will immediately start calling these next of kins. If your neighbors are your contacts, maybe they will jump over your back fence and start firing with their Uzi. Or their garden hose if your house is burning down. OK, well, realistically, they can come over to hold your hand while you’re waiting for emergency services to arrive. They should bring sandwiches, because as we all know, those emergency services do not hurry; they amble out if they come at all. Hey, but if you don’t try to contact them, you know they won’t come.

Your profile page will also have important information about your medical history. You can fill out your blood type, allergies, and illneses.

You can also use a chat feature which works similar to Whatsapp with text or voice messages. When your emergency is reported to them, they will see your location and can send help immediately, and keep in touch with you the entire time.

All emergency calls will be recorded, for possible later use, and you will also get a report number from 911 which you may need later. Like, in case you learn Spanish.

The service costs $99 per year for an individual or $149 for couples. For more information go to www.bit.ly/baja911

This article was originally printed in the Gringo Gazette South, September 17, 2018 edition, to visit it on that website click here.

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