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Ambulance hailing app helped keep Nairobi attack fatalities low

Posted by Charles Clerck (Admin) 1 week ago

The emergency response to the Dusit hotel complex terror attack in Nairobi was far better, partly thanks to Flare, a new ride-hailing app whose ambulances were first to the dusitD2 hotel and office complex hit by Somalia's al Shabaab.

A young Kenyan tech start-up called Rescue.co helped to centralise and co-ordinate the fleets of private ambulance companies. Ambulances scrambled by Flare - run by the Rescue.co company - arrived quickly after panicked calls from subscribers. The first ambulance came within 12 minutes, and by the hour 20 were there. 

In the absence of official information, Flare's emergency number raced across Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. Peter Koome, a paramedic with the charity St. John Ambulance, said the improved coordination, along with better training and access, certainly helped save lives. Of 30 people badly wounded, all but two survived.

Americans Caitlin Dolkart and Maria Rabinovich founded Rescue.co in 2016. The Flare app works like ride-hailing and food-delivery services and now has tens of thousands of subscribers and 500 ambulances across Kenya.

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