accessibility & help

British Red Cross leads the way in teaching first aid through voice recognition technology

12 April 2017

  • The British Red Cross has launched a new voice recognition app for Amazon Echo which enables people to learn how to act if they find themselves in a first aid emergency.
  • British Red Cross is one of the first charities in the UK to embrace education through the use of voice recognition technology

The British Red Cross has today launched a new app to allow members of the public to access step-by-step first aid advice in their home.

The new Amazon Echo app (also known as ‘Alexa skills’) will use spoken instructions to teach people a range of skills, including how to treat a severe bleed, a burn and a seizure.

Once the app is installed, users will be able to use it by saying “Alexa, open first aid”, and ask for advice, for example ““Alexa, ask First aid how to help someone having a seizure”.

The Red Cross is the first education provider in the UK to pioneer a first aid app for the device.

Recent research from the charity revealed that up to 59% of ‘pre-hospital’ deaths from injury could potentially be prevented if more people stepped in with some simple first aid.

Whilst 93% of people called for an ambulance if they found someone with an injury, first aid intervention of any kind was infrequent. Around half did not attempt any first aid while waiting for the emergency medical services to arrive*.

The First Aid by British Red Cross app seeks to educate people in first aid as part of their daily lives, making them more confident and better equipped to step in and help in emergency situations.

Joe Mulligan, British Red Cross Head of First Aid Education said:

“The British Red Cross’ new skill for Amazon Echo will teach people simple first aid so that they feel well prepared to help someone in an emergency. The benefits of accessible education are well documented, and we hope that spoken instructions will make it even easier for people to learn these skills.

This is a very exciting time for us, and highlights our ambition to embrace new digital technologies to reach and engage more people in first aid education. We’ll be developing this product all the time based on user feedback, and we’re looking forward to seeing it grow.”

The British Red Cross have a range of first aid education products to download, including their First Aid mobile app. The free app features simple, easy advice on 18 everyday first aid scenarios, as well as tips on how to prepare for emergencies. The app is available to download here:

You can download the British Red Cross First aid Alexa app here or go to and search ‘British Red Cross first aid’ under ‘Alexa skills’.


Notes to editors


  • The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies. We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them recover and move on with their lives.


*This figure excludes those found dead

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