First-ever panic button for British haulage drivers launched

Epsom Surrey, UK: Emergency response specialist Skyguard has launched a personal emergency service for British haulage, courier and long-distance drivers.

Skyguard International gives drivers abroad the power to summon help at the press of a button if they find themselves in trouble overseas. Initially the service is live across 34 European countries, the Russian Federation and South Africa.

Haulage and courier drivers can activate the emergency Skyguard International service using a device the size of a key-fob and the smallest GPS alarm of its kind, which can be discreetly attached to keys, a belt or worn on a lanyard. Skyguard’s service also runs as an app on a BlackBerry, with the handset’s convenience side key acting as the alarm button.

Alarms containing the user’s location and identity go directly to Skyguard’s incident management centre in the UK, where controllers can listen in, talk if it is safe to do so and co-ordinate a response by summoning the national emergency services of the country in question, and contacting the victim’s employers or relatives. Skyguard customers can provide detailed personal information through an online portal, such as medical conditions, medicines taken and a photograph, which can be passed to the emergency services.

Skyguard, which launched in 2000, offers a similar service nationally in the UK, used by companies and individuals, and more than half of the UK’s police forces to protect vulnerable people.  James Murray, chief executive of Skyguard says: “We believe we’ve created the ultimate peace of mind solution for long-distance drivers and the international haulage industry in its entirety.

“I travel frequently for work assignments to countries where I’m not familiar with the language or destination. I wondered what I, or anyone else would do if they ended up in a difficult situation that required immediate emergency assistance. That’s why we developed Skyguard International – to give people peace of mind, knowing their location is exactly pinpointed and they can communicate immediately in English.

“After years of successfully managing hundreds of life-threatening situations affecting individuals at risk in the UK, we’re excited to be the first company in the world to offer an overseas service with this level of coverage. Initially we’ve got nearly all of Europe covered, together with Russia and South Africa, and we look forward to adding further countries in the months ahead.

“When we receive an alarm we can immediately locate a driver using advanced GPS technology and can then quickly assess their needs. Our trained staff can communicate with the individual via their device or Blackberry, or not make direct contact if the situation so dictates.

“We can alert local police, paramedics or fire units to be with our customers as soon as possible.”

Skyguard International is available to existing Skyguard customers as an additional service. “The service also works across borders so haulage, courier or any other long-distance drivers will have back-up and cover every step of their journey,” Murray says.  Skyguard International is available from £29.95 a month.