Jul 12, 2016

Pokemon Go Effects First Responders

Since last week's release of Pokemon Go, the mobile game has had an effect on first responders across the nation. Find out more below, in two articles posted on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 on EMS1.com.

Pokémon Go adds to EMS workload, but medics join virtual monster hunt

The popular mobile game has lead some players into real-world injuries.

By EMS1 Staff

PLANO, Texas — Since the wildly popular Pokémon Go app was released last week, emergency services personnel across the United States and Canada have observed an increase in accidents and injuries associated with mobile phone use.

The mobile game uses the smartphone’s GPS to lead players to real-world locations to collect in-game monsters. The app encourages users to explore public places like parks and local landmarks, but has also been linked to incidents where player safety was threatened.

In response to the recent Pokemon-related accidents, various public safety officials have made posts on social media encouraging players to stay vigilant while using their phones.

Even so, more than a few players have run into trouble while using the game to explore unfamiliar locations.

A Wyoming teen discovered a body while exploring a Pokémon hot spot near the Wind River. Another young woman was nearly abducted because she appeared to be distracted by the game.

News media have reported various incidents where mobile users have been robbed and physically injured while playing Pokémon Go.

The Oregonian reports that a 22-year-old player was stabbed while using the app -- and even kept playing after the fact.

"Biggest fear is that someone will die. Someone will cross the street not see the vehicle, not see the cyclist,” J.P. Trottier, an Ottawa-based paramedic said to CBC News. “You have to be aware of your surroundings at all times and being glued to your phone certainly does not help."

Some EMTs have even joined the craze, posting on social media about playing the game in between calls. Many report that their police, fire, and EMS stations are listed as in-game landmarks where new Pokemon can be found.

[Read the original post on EMS1.com]

NY fire, EMS depts.: Don’t play Pokemon GO at stations

Catching Pokemon at fire stations poses a threat to fire and EMS crews as well as the public.

By EMS1 Staff

CICERO, N.Y. — The smartphone virtual reality game that has swept the nation has prompted fire departments to ask gamers to not play at stations, government compounds and even the middle of the road.

Several fire and police departments have issued statements via Facebook warning Pokemon GO gamers to avoid catching Pokemon at stations, citing the threat it poses to fire and EMS crews and the public.

The Village of Phoenix Police posted Monday night to its Facebook page, “PSA: To all the Pokemon Trainers young and old: Pokemon are ground, not in the middle of the road. This new app game: Pokemon GO is a great way for people to get outside, and get some exercise, but use caution…”

Many communities have noticed an increase in foot and vehicle traffic since the game’s release, Syracuse.comreports. The game allows user to catch virtual monsters by walking around in the real world.

The Cicero Fire Department released a PSA on its Facebook page, which has been shared by Tully Fire and EMS,Belgium Cold Springs Fire Department and Moyers Corners Fire Department. It has received more than 570 shares.

[Click here to read the original post on EMS1.com]


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