In 1957, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told an enraptured Alabama audience that “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others’”. Over 60 years later and the power of his words ring more resoundingly than ever.
We are a privileged generation of peoples. The world has been sculpted to meet our every need – the hand-crafted Amazon basket we repeatedly fill. This relentless push for convenience has created a sense of entitlement so pronounced that the two words that cause most distress to us are “No wi-fi”. Is there hope for a culture which favours the selfie over the selfless act?
Thankfully, the First Point Community Portal is around to help reaffirm our faith in community spirit. A Manx initiative, the portal is revolutionary, built by software engineering company PDMS and working alongside the emergency services, the Isle of Man Constabulary and a host of other community partners.
“The Portal is a way for people with additional needs to store their details so that in an emergency the police can figure out who they are, what their needs are and how to get in touch with their loved ones,”
says Project Lead, Alexandra Koyfman.
Aptly, the project has been a communal one, drawing upon help from many different entities. The idea was formulated by the Manx police and then the technical wizardry of PDMS put the systems in place. Charity partners such as Alzheimer’s Society Isle of Man and Isle of Man Live at Home have fully backed the project as have sponsors such as Microgaming and EVF. Alexandra as Project Lead has handled the profile raising of the pilot, working on the social media presence and the website, as well as being responsible for all training across operational control, throughout the police force and with the respective charity partners.
How does it work?
- Anyone aged 16+ can register for the portal.
- The minimum information needed is name and date of birth/mark age as 16+
- Can update at any time with further details e.g. photo, eye colour, hair colour, emergency contact details of loved ones, medical details etc – to help Emergency Services identify the individual
- Data security – only authorised emergency services personnel have access to registered user data
- Consent – You can sign up for yourself, on behalf of someone in your family or you can go directly to one of the charity partners who can assist
- You can remove your details from the portal at any time
The First Point Community Portal is a genuinely groundbreaking step forward in assisting those in need; a community bridge created with altruistic intent, for emergency services, charities and anyone who requires support. They aim to help everyone but a particular focus on those who require more support than others. Those with Alzheimer’s, dementia; anyone suffering with mental health issues or learning disabilities; the older generation, people who are isolated. Their mantra is simple: ‘For peace of mind. Just in case’.
As their official website states:
“We hope First Point will help emergency personnel identify the person sooner, help bring the person to a place of safety sooner, provide better care for the person, and allow emergency services personnel to contact loved ones sooner”
Such a message, laced with sincerity and care, is heartening during these cynical times. A magical concoction of innovation, hard work and a sense of togetherness have produced a game-changing project. One that is entirely free and with the good of the community at its core.
For details on First Point Community Portal and how to sign up click here or contact the below charity partners:
Alzheimer’s Society Isle of Man – 613181
Isle of Man Live at Home Schemes – 616571
Manx Blind Welfare Society – 674727
Manx Deaf Society – 202875
EPSA IOM – 481792