A mobile app developed by three BT graduates in Cardiff is helping to save the lives of farmworkers across the UK.

Nia Davies, Jordan Evans and Dylan Jones of BT Technology, Service & Operations used a combination of volunteering days and their own spare time to develop the ‘First Aid for Farmers’ free mobile app for St John Ambulance.

Explained Nia: “Farming is one of the most hazardous industries in the UK with between 40 and 50 deaths occurring every year as well as many, many injuries. St John Ambulance in Wales was looking for ways to reduce these instances. They had conversations with the Young Farmers Association and came up with the idea for downloadable smartphone app which could provide first aid advice.”

St John then approached BT for help in developing an app. Stepping forward with great enthusiasm to take on the project were Nia, Jordan and Dylan who began working to design and develop the app with St John in December 2012.

Valuable advice

Said Nia: “The app needed content which would give advice to agriculture workers on dealing with common farm accidents such as severe bleeding, amputations, crush injuries and hypothermia. We combined our app development skills with St John’s first aid expertise to get the design content and functionality all right.”

Added Nia: “We knew lots of graduates in Cardiff who helped us test the app very vigorously on their smartphones. Once it passed this test we were confident we had something robust to show to our friends at St John.”

And St John Wales were delighted with the app which helped save the life of Roger Can Praet from Carmarthenshire who downloaded the app on the day it was launched in July.

Recognised symptoms

Roger began feeling unwell a couple of weeks later while on a train and remembered the app had a section on chest pain. Using the app he recognised the symptoms of cardiac arrest and called 999. Paramedics arrived just in time to take him to hospital for emergency treatment. He’s now doing well.

“One of the beauties of the app is that once it has been downloaded, no internet connection is needed,” said Nia. “It’s also written in two languages – English and Welsh.”

“Myself, Jordan and Dylan are so proud to have helped create this app. We’ve been able to use and develop our ICT skills and we’ve had a fabulous time working with some great people at St Johns Wales. But most of all we are really pleased to be able to contribute in some way to BT’s Better Future programme and its Connected Society goal of using the power of communication to make a better world.”

The First Aid for Farmers app is available free from iTunes and Google marketplace.