Little, the Kenya-based cab-hailing company, has partnered with St John Ambulance to offer emergency ambulance services through its mobile app.
The emergency ambulance services, under the Transport category within the Little app, will enable Little customers to request for ambulance services and get connected to a St John Ambulance dispatcher who will coordinate the emergency response with the ambulance crew.
While sharing details on how the ambulance service will work, Little CEO Kamal Budhabhatti underscored the importance of the partnership, stating: “Little is ever researching on ways to use technology to simplify people’s lives by offering convenient services. When people are in emergencies, they go online to search for ambulance services and contacts, which can be time-consuming and may not lead you directly to the contacts. With the Little app, a customer will simply log in and click ‘confirm ambulance’ within the Little Transport category and they immediately get connected to St John Ambulance dispatchers who send out the ambulances depending on the type of emergencies.”
A unique aspect of this new feature by Little is that customers are able to track the ambulance and view estimated arrival time. The ambulance crew will be able to follow a live map to whether the distressed customer and this reduces time lost in coordinating with the customer on the location.
Speaking on the new partnership Fred Majiwa, Head of Programme, Business Development and Communications at St John Ambulance Kenya said: “This is a timely partnership that will enable Kenyans in dire situations to receive quality emergency care and evacuation in record time. Customers can now track in real time an ambulance that has been dispatched to help them, thanks to the live map that has been created. The crew will only need to use one live map to direct them to the emergency scene, which reduces time spent getting to the customer location. This service also helps enhance our management of COVID-19 cases, which we are currently attending to free of charge, as part of our CSR.”
As of March 2020, Kenya is leading Africa in smartphone penetration with Internet access through the mobile phone in the country recently hitting 83%, overtaking Nigeria. This means that many Kenyans with access to a smartphone can easily request for the ambulance services from the Little app.
This development comes weeks after Little introduced free rides up to Kshs 600 per ride to 11 partner hospitals when customers need medical attention during curfew hours (7 pm – 5 am).