Nebraska’s Grand Island Fire Department has a new tool that could potentially save hundreds of lives.
The device has only been in service for about a week and already the department has put it to use.
“It’s called ELSA, which stands for Enabling Language Services Anywhere,” explains EMS Chief Russ Blackburn.
ELSA allows medical personnel to interpret a medical condition from a non-English speaking person.
“I think for us, it gives us a little better piece of mind that we’re giving better care and of course more speedy,” EMT Jared Stockwell said.
“I was really surprised when I started researching the number of languages that are spoken in Grand Island,” said Blackburn.
There are over 30 different languages spoken in Grand Island public school, but this new device can translate over 180 languages.
“Not being able to speak or really understand, it’s frustrating for the patient, but it’s also frustrating for us as well,” said Stockwell.