Medical emergencies start clocks ticking regardless of who is nearby. When seconds matter, waiting for first responders to arrive can have dire consequences. We’ve written about first responders before. We covered first responder wearables such as EMERGE, handheld ultrasound equipment, and RapidSOS’s emergency communications app Haven. The PulsePoint network locates and contacts trained volunteers close to an incident and the AEDMAP smartphone app informs anyone who checks where to find the closest portable automatic external defibrillator. But while people are finding an app or rushing to a location following a PulsePoint alert, the clock keeps ticking. What about willing bystanders who are on the scene but lack emergency response training?

Mobilize Rescue Systems is a company that focuses on providing bystanders with the information they need to initiate first aid while waiting for EMTs or other emergency responders. Mobilize Rescue comprehensive first aid kits include access to triage-like apps that walk users through a series of questions and prompts about the emergency with simple touchscreen responses. A sample prompt is, “Point to where the blood is coming from” with a diagram of a human body with touch points on various body parts and areas. The app’s algorithm advises the volunteer what to do and in the order in which to do it. Two larger Mobilize Rescue System kits come with dedicated iPads for the app. A compact version of the kit works with an app downloaded to a smartphone. In each case, the first aid supplies in the Mobilize Rescue Systems are color-coded for easy and fast identification by the volunteer. The system contents go beyond the typical gauze and tape found in household first aid kits. For example, even the least-equipped, compact rescue system includes a tourniquet, trauma dressing, QuikClot bleeding control dressing, Hyfin Chest Seal, and more. Bystanders don’t need to know much more than how to start the app and follow directions.

Mobilize Rescue Systems’ larger kits are recommended for dangerous work sites, for locations not easily accessible by responders such as rural locations, and high traffic areas. The Mobilize Rescue algorithm in the app is based on Tactical Emergency Casualty Care TECC ,  American Heart Association AHA CPR, and American College of Emergency Physicians ACEP initial emergency care guidelines. For a Mobilize Rescue Systems kit to help in an emergency, people have to know what it is and where it is. Just placing kits in various locations won’t do much good. The best approach for workplaces, retail locations, theaters, churches, sports facilities, or any other location where crowds or groups of people congregate, is to recruit a cohort of volunteers sufficient to ensure one or more persons are available whenever the facility is in use. The good news is that the volunteers wouldn’t require extensive training beyond know how to find, open, and use the kit and the app. In The Hunger Games novels, needed supplies or aids sometimes appeared as if by magic out of the air, but real life isn’t like that, so some degree of awareness and preparation is still required to optimize the life-saving potential of Mobilize Rescue Systems’ kits.