Posted: Wed 21st Jul 2021

Gaming app lauched in Wales to educate next generation of emergency service users

North Wales news and information

The Welsh Ambulance Service has launched a revolutionary new gaming app to help young people understand what to do in an emergency.

The Trust’s Blue Light Hub app boasts four games which teach users about what happens when they call 999, the appropriate use of 999, how ambulance resources are dispatched and managed and the different uniforms they might encounter on their NHS journey.

The bilingual app, which launches today, is aimed predominately at 7-12 year olds.

Fiona Maclean, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Patient Experience and Community Involvement (PECI) Manager, said: “We know from our engagement that a child’s experience of the NHS in an emergency setting can be distressing, so familiarisation is key.

“As the pandemic continues and face-to-face engagement at schools and community settings are put on hold, we wanted to ensure that important information was still being shared whilst seizing new innovative opportunities.

“The lightly challenging games allow the player to become familiar with appearances, and take on various roles and challenges carried out by the emergency services.

“By rewarding players for their efforts with points, level badges, game unlocks, and the ability to accessorise their own avatar, the player is encouraged to return to the hub frequently, developing a familiarity with the theme, further encouraging them to make better choices about how to treat the emergency services, and what to do in difficult situations.”

The app hosts four games which are:

  • Quiz a fun game which asks players about using 999 wisely, calling 999, our uniforms, equipment and vehicles
  • 999 which educates on what happens when the emergency phone system is used
  • Dress Up which familiarises users with all the different uniforms they may encounter on their NHS journey
  • Dispatch which helps users understand how resources such as ambulances are utilised

The idea was borne out of discussions with a clinical psychologist and a social development expert on how to best engage with and form positive behaviours in young people.

Claire Roche, Executive Director of Quality and Nursing for the Welsh Ambulance Service said: “I am delighted that we can engage with young people in this way as it is important for everyone to understand how emergency services are provided and when (and when not) 999 should be used.

“It also enables young people to have a window into the world of an ambulance service and may encourage them to think about a career in healthcare in the future.”

James Thomas, Director at app developers DotC Studios Ltd, said: “We are honoured to have worked alongside the Welsh Ambulance Service on this innovative project.

“It presented a great opportunity for us to help educate young people in an entertaining way.

“In the current climate, and going forward, it is becoming more and more vital to reach audiences digitally.

“We are really proud of this product and really hope it benefits the next generation of people who will someday need to call on and use all of our fantastic emergency services.

“Along the way we have learned a lot about healthcare services and are happy to be producing a bilingual product as making the Welsh language more accessible in Wales is something we support.”

You can download the Blue Light Hub app for free on the Google and Apple app stores using the following links:

Google: 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.WelshAmbulance.BlueLightHub

Apple:

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/blue-light-hub/id1575745545



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