CELEBRATING LIFE AFTER THE CRASH
Every day OnStar Automatic Crash Response helps dozens of people whose air bags have gone off during a crash. Before they even have time to wonder what to do, the Advisor is doing it for them, sending help and asking, “Are you OK?”
“My granddaughter was just 4 when I had that crash. I’ve been able to enjoy all of these years with her since then and I’m so grateful for that. It’s hard to put into words how important this is to me.”
--Margaret Nelms Taylor, who was seriously injured in a deer-vehicle crash in a remote area. WATCH HER FULL STORY HERE
“There is no way anyone would have known that vehicle was in the ravine without OnStar. Being able to rescue this driver makes me feel fortunate and blessed.”
--David Tomlin, a firefighter whose crew responded to a rescue call from OnStar for a vehicle that had rolled 120 feet down a ravine, out of sight.
“The highlight of the day for me was seeing my daughter walk down the aisle with her Dad. Words can’t describe how grateful we are to have been here for the wedding.”
--Janice Rector, whose vehicle flipped over and landed upside down. Since the crash, she’s also become a grandmother for the first time.
“The crash flipped our vehicle on its side and all I could think of was getting those babies out of the car. I calmed down as soon as I heard the OnStar voice. I knew help was on the way.”
--Terry Hensley, who’s enjoyed the birth of two more grandchildren since the crash, and is grateful that she’s able to take care of her 86-year-old mother. WATCH HER FULL STORY HERE
Automatic Crash Response1: A Look at the Technology
In a crash, something amazing happens. OnStar-equipped vehicles have been designed to sense the impact, trigger air bags, use GPS satellite technology to determine its exact location, gather relevant crash data, and open a cellular connection to an OnStar Advisor. Which means the right kind of help is on its way to you as quickly as possible … even if you’re unconscious. Here’s a look at the technology that makes it all possible.
Your 2014 General Motors vehicle has just been hit from the side. Within 1 millisecond, built-in sensors detect a sudden change in velocity and send data to the Sensing Diagnostic Module (SDM) to begin analyzing the crash and activating appropriate systems as needed.
- Typically, a GM vehicle has 6 sensors located in key zones within the vehicle that feed data to the Sensing Diagnostic Module.
- In 2011, the most recent year available, there were an estimated 5.3 million police-reported traffic crashes in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That’s an average of one crash every six seconds of every day.
The crash alert from your vehicle’s sensors sends the Sensing Diagnostic Module (SDM) into action. In addition to deploying the air bags during the crash (if necessary), within fractions of a second after a crash the SDM turns on the emergency flashers, and unlocks the doors for first responders, depending on your vehicle. The module gathers data on the crash – such as whether air bags deployed, the velocity, direction and severity of the collision and whether it was a rollover.
- Generally, air bags inflate and deflate in less than 1 second. (In rollovers, bags stay inflated longer to help protect occupants.)
- Front air bags saved 25,782 lives between 1987 and 2008.
- Front air bags are generally designed to deploy in “moderate to severe” frontal or near-frontal crashes. Those are defined as crashes that are equivalent to hitting a solid, fixed barrier at 8–14 MPH or higher. (This would be equivalent to striking a parked car of similar size at about 16–28 MPH or higher.)
Within seconds your vehicle sends a signal to the OnStar Call Center. An OnStar Advisor is connected to the vehicle and an alert indicating that you’ve been in a crash appears on the Advisor’s computer screen with a vivid red banner at the top.
- The OnStar module also relays the exact location of your vehicle — within a few feet — to the Emergency Advisor immediately after the crash.
- On average, OnStar receives more than 2,800 Automatic Crash Response calls in the U.S. each month. Since 1997, OnStar has assisted in more than 229,000 Automatic Crash Response calls in the U.S.
THE VOICE OF HELP
The OnStar Emergency Advisor contacts 911 and provides key crash details (rollover, air bag deployment) that allow emergency personnel to anticipate what equipment may be needed at the scene. The Advisor also relays your precise location to 911 so first responders can find you quickly.
Even if you are unconscious, the Emergency Advisor stays on the line monitoring the situation until first responders arrive, while also relaying information to them about the crash.
- OnStar Emergency Advisors receive an additional 160 hours of training in how to handle emergency situations. They must be prepared for any scenario, since there’s no way to predict when calls will come and how life-threatening the situation will be.
- OnStar uses the vehicle’s exact location to determine the appropriate 911 dispatch center for the Emergency Advisor to contact.
- In a typical month, OnStar Advisors contact emergency responders to send help for more than 2,800 crashes.
In many crash situations, the OnStar Emergency Advisor will be assisted by an Advisor certified by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch® to provide Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) services using the Medical Priority Dispatch System®.
If necessary, this EMD-certified Emergency Advisor may provide emergency medical instructions until first responders arrive. Meanwhile, the OnStar Emergency Advisor can remain on the line to help keep the subscriber calm or connect with anyone they wish to contact.
- After a crash, an invisible countdown begins. Emergency professionals call it the Golden Hour. It’s the best time to minimize injury and maximize outcomes. Automatic Crash Response can help medical workers get to you faster, armed with information about your emergency.
- OnStar encourages its subscribers to call if they see someone else who needs emergency assistance — and they do. OnStar receives more than 200 Good Samaritan calls every day.
- OnStar has been recognized as one of only 127 Accredited Emergency Dispatch Centers of Excellence worldwide by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch®.
- OnStar has more than 80 trained and certified EMD Advisors on staff to assist on calls.
ONSTAR EMERGENCY ADVISORS: READY FOR ANYTHING
They’re calm, confident, highly trained and ready for anything — from a car crash to a heart attack to the birth of a baby on a lonely stretch of highway. Every day, using only their voice, OnStar Emergency Advisors assist subscribers in critical situations.
Meet four of these amazing Advisors:
Taking charge in an emergency
“In an emergency situation, the subscriber has to be your eyes,” says EMD-certified OnStar Emergency Advisor Heather Gainey. “You are a voice over the radio. But you are also the rock that they are able to stand on. You are there for them and you aren’t going anywhere. It’s important they know that they are not alone. I prepare myself for calls by thinking about how I would want the person to be treated if he or she was a member of my own family,” she says.
Dedicated to helping
Patricia Aiken was one of the first OnStar EMD-certified Emergency Advisors. She’s handled hundreds of emergency calls over the years and prides herself on sounding calm and collected while assisting people, no matter how serious the situation.
“People are screaming, they’re hurt, they’re scared,” she says. “Sometimes I’ll break out in a sweat while handling the call, and I’ve actually had team leaders fan me while I’m taking care of everything. But the subscriber will never know, which is exactly as it should be.”
Trained to handle any situation
OnStar Emergency Advisors undergo more than a month of intensive classroom training and role-playing to prepare them to deal with just about any critical situation.
“We’re well prepared to provide the best care possible, no matter what the situation,” says James Boston, an EMD-certified OnStar Emergency Advisor."When I’m working, I’m in it to win it. I give it my all the entire eight to nine hours I’m here. Because making a difference in someone’s life is no small thing.”
Calm and collected, call after call
A bilingual Advisor, Diana Mendoza handles both emergency and non-emergency calls. On average, she’ll take 60–75 calls a day — nearly 1,500 a month.What’s the most important thing for Emergency Advisors as they handle so many high-stress calls in a day?