#Kingston, January 1, 2019 – Jamaica – An idea for the development of a solution to provide timely emergency services, led to the creation of a mobile software App-‘First Alert’. The emergency response platform that persons can access through their phones, was developed by First Responders Technology Limited, a Kingston based Technology firm, headed by Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Aldain Reid.
Mr. Reid tells JIS News, that the product which has been in use for the last few months, is a subscription-based service, available to everyone, especially persons prioritising safety, health and security.
“Any [person] that is travelling across the world and wants to ensure that they are safe wherever they go may use the App, as the organisation is able to handle calls globally,” he notes.
Mr. Reid says First Alert can be downloaded free on both IOS and Android platforms, after which persons may access the service through a $250 monthly subscription.
“Once you download the App, if you have an emergency, with the simple tap of a button, you are able to access the call centre, which operates 24 hours, which then manages the issue,” Mr. Reid states.
He indicates however that in managing an emergency, there might be need for third party services such as an ambulance, which the organisation will also arrange. “It’s a full end-to-end service,” he explains.
Some of the services offered through the App include the provision of emergency responses for medical dispatch, personal security and roadside assistance using approved protocols.
“A call comes in to our call centre, based on our technology, we are able to see who you are and where you are, once you are a subscriber,” he explains.
He says this is very important, as in the provision of emergency services, the ability to pinpoint locations is important, adding that is something the company has pioneered.
Additionally the CEO notes that based on the information requested, when persons initially register, the company would also have information on the user, such as health records; pre-existing conditions and next-of-kin.
Mr. Reid also tells JIS News that when the nature of an emergency is established, the call centre will dispatch the relevant third party emergency provider closest to the user. He adds that these services would then be paid for by the user.
“The problem we are trying to solve is the absence of coherent or structured emergency services, as Jamaica does not currently have a formal emergency response service,” the Chief Executive Officer points out. He notes that this was part of the inspiration behind the development of the App, as an individual with whom he was close, died due to the absence of speedy emergency services.
Mr. Reid contends that the development of the App “is evidence to show how technology can transform ideas into solutions.” He says the ground-breaking services provision has been bolstered by the recruitment of a staff of 20 persons globally, some of who are trained emergency medical dispatch officers.
The team, he adds, will shortly be increased as the company expands. The App, which was entered in the 2018 National Medal for Science, Technology and Innovation Awards in November, won the Health and Safety category.
Mr. Reid says the company was also recognized by the World Bank for being one of 30 companies worldwide to initiate projects with potential global impact. He adds that there has been positive public feedback to the App since its introduction. He further tells JIS News that the team is very excited that as a Jamaican company, they are able to execute an idea that they anticipate will have a significant impact.
By: Tomeica Gunn
CDB Approves Millions for Regional Improvement such as Health, Education and Poverty
#RegionalDevelopment#CDB, February 28th, 2024 – Projects for the improvement of water, renewable energy, education, health as well as budgetary support for governments in the region, are being financed with an approved USD$461 million by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). Included in the approval are The Bahamas with USD$125 million and Saint Lucia with 43 million. Additionally, as announced in a release from the Bank, climate resilience and poverty reduction will also be prioritized through the funding.
Ali Addresses the Issue of Violent Music in the Region
#CaribbeanMusic#Violence#IrfaanAli, February 28th, 2024 – “As Leaders of this region, we have to take this situation very seriously, and ensure the lyrics of the region, is the lyrics of Bob Marley, the lyrics of positivity and the lyrics of positive living and positive change,” said the president of Guyana Irfaan Ali at the 46th CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting on February 25th, addressing the issue of violent music in the Caribbean region and the influence it has on people’s action.
He speaks against violent lyrics, adding that the region is more than capable of producing music that positively influences people.
According to the American Psychological Association, in reference to a study published in the journal of Personality and Social Psychology, violent lyrics are linked to increased negative emotions and thoughts that can lead to aggression.
Saunders “surprised” by move to Backbench; promises to address the nation this week
#TurksandCaicosIslands, February 28, 2023 – Surprise was one of the main emotions rolling off of E. Jay Sauders, All Island Elected Member, when he spoke to Magnetic Media Tuesday afternoon. The brief phone interview came only minutes after he confirmed to the media around 3 p.m. that he had been removed from his post as Deputy Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands by Washington Misick, TCI Premier.
“I am a bit surprised– I sit here at the pleasure of the Premier, the Premier acted in a certain way and it is his right to decide who he wants and doesn’t want in his cabinet and that’s the position that he took.”
The biggest question now is who will replace Saunders as the Premier’s right hand man, Magnetic Media spoke to a high-profile source around 3:30 pm who told us: “The Premier hasn’t made a decision in that regard as yet so there’s nothing yet to announce.”
It’s likely, the source told us, that the Premier will take on the Ministry of Finance himself, having had experience with that ministry in the past.
Sure enough minutes after that conversation a press release came from the Office of the Premier announcing that he is the new Minister of Finance, Investment and Trade; the statement also bid Saunders goodbye.
“I wish to thank Honourable Saunders for his service these past three years as my Deputy and for his stewardship in the ministries he served,” Misick said.
It comes as no surprise to residents however and a firestorm of comments followed the announcement,
“This is so wrong!!!” said one resident.
It was a sentiment fielded by Magnetic Media over a dozen times.
“He is running this country and this party with his silly feelings. And with Washy age, he need to relax himself.”
Another predicted, “This will hurt the PNP in the next election for sure, plus with the current conflict of interest matter pending with Washy and the Integrity Commission, this was not the best move at this time for him to be both Premier and Minister of Finance.”
The booting is the second high-profile shuffle in the Washington Misick-led PNP Administration following the removal of Akierra Missick, Elected Member for Leeward from her post as Minister of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development in 2023.
That shakeup went totally without explanation, similarly, no explanation has come from the Premier’s office this time either, but it follows a leadership challenge at the party’s national convention just days prior.
Saunders had attempted to go against Misick for the head of the PNP party but could not get enough votes to push the challenge through.
As a former CEO of DigicelTCI, E. Saunders initially served as the Health and Human Services minister as the country clawed its way back to health after a brutal Coronavirus Pandemic. He was then appointed, by Misick, to the ministry for Finance, Investment and Trade, setting and achieving lofty goals including the achievement of a $400 million yearly revenue two years into his tenure and the removal of the Turks and Caicos from the EU Blacklist of non-compliant tax jurisdictions.
Now with one year left before a new general election is called, Saunders, in his own words, will join the rest of the backbench of politicians.
Also feeling the “stick” is reported to be Jas Walkin, the man Washington Misick appointed to lead his winning general election campaign in 2021. Walkin had put his name forward for party leader but hurriedly withdrew it. Reports of a suspension have been shared via social media with residents expressing disdain at the possibility.
The consensus from many, they’re not surprised and also not happy about the removal of Jas.
For now, Saunders is focused on moving,
“Depending on how quickly I can get through the packing up of my office, I’ll do a Public Address tomorrow, but no later than Wednesday,” he promised.
The demotion also means a significant pay cut for Saunders from the Deputy Premier’s $175,000 base salary and $60,000 in allowances to the $97,000 base salary and $10,200 in allowances which is paid out to Members of the House of Assembly, where he will continue to serve as an All Island Elected member.
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