“Call the Emergency Services, Save a Life”, an innovative health communication project

“Call the Emergency Services, Save a Life” is a project for the production of a series of videos on health education and promotion, in particular for everything concerning emergencies.

The objective of the project is to train people to recognize the cases when it is necessary to call the emergency services, but also to “train” them to behave correctly when speaking to the emergency personnel and waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

The project, in collaboration with the Milan South Rotary Club (district 2041) also aims to make up for the lack of information about what happens during emergency care and the first medical treatment given. Patients have two major ‘moments’ of bewilderment, when in a health emergency: the first is when they have to do with the emergency personnel, because they are often frightened and do not know how to behave and the second is when they arrive in hospital for the first time for the necessary care: here they come into contact with various healthcare figures, but they do not know the reason for certain procedures or the reason why sometimes  they have  long (and necessary) waiting times.

When citizen is faced with an emergency, they have to know when to call the emergency services, the symptoms to look for, the information they have to have at hand and the type of healthcare that will be provided, first in the ambulance and then in hospital.

The videos of the “Call the Emergency Services, Save a Life” project have therefore been designed to answer these questions. They have been made so that they can be seen in any context: on the Internet, on screens in the waiting rooms,  on video totems at events where there are large crowds,  as TV commercials and on tablets and mobile phones. They consist of a narrating voice and of clear and simple infographics which describe exactly what is happening and what to expect in the case of a health emergency.

Thanks to the collaboration with the Rotary Inter-District Commission for Literacy and Social Integration – districts 2041, 2042 and 2050, each video has also been translated into English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian.

The concepts can be perfectly understood even in noisy places or where the sound cannot be used (for example in a crowded venue or on the screens in the underground or in a very silent waiting room), but also by the non-hearing as well as by people with linguistic difficulties or foreign language-speaking citizens.

They are short videos (about 3 minutes long) which can be repeated and reproduced in a loop. Because they are short, light and simple, they are suitable for ‘viral’ diffusion on the Internet as well as on the social networks.

Last but not least, the strong point of the contents of these videos is their credibility and authority: the texts and the production were conceived and curated by the Regional Agency for Emergencies and Urgency (Areu) of Lombardy.

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