Everyone can be a hero with phone ap

New mobile phone application meant to protect children

Losing a child in a crowd of people in a shopping mall, and then seeing and hearing her screaming to get out of a car is every parent’s worst nightmare. Amber Alert? Perhaps too late. Smart phone alert?  Not yet.

Sooke resident Thomas Okuszko had such a dream about losing his little girl — so did his wife.

The possibility of such a horrific event happening is a very real possibility and knowing this Okuszko put together an idea to alert people in the vicinity of where a child went missing. He developed an smart phone application which alerts everyone who needs to know that a child has gone missing.

“What if you could alert dozens, hundreds or even thousands of people in the immediate vicinity of a missing child — in a matter of seconds? asks Okuszko.

Enter the HERO, a mobile application that allows parents or guardians to securely keep a profile of their children, including pictures and vital statistics online and on their smart phones. In under 30 seconds, HERO allows any guardian to send an alert if their child goes missing. Everyone on the network (heroes) who are within 10 kms will receive the alert.

“A HERO is anyone who is willing to upload the application and is willing to take a text message or photo and send it directly back to a guardian of a child,” said Okuszko. “The whole point is to share a child’s profile with caregivers and a network empowering them to send an alert on my behalf. All I need to do is send a text message and I’m a hero.”

When an alert is sent in your area, you will receive a notification on your phone. You can switch between the alert details and a map displaying where the alert was sent from. If you have information or details pertaining to an alert, you can send a reply message that only the alert sender will see. On all Alert screens, you will also have the option to quickly dial 911.

He said during the alert updates can be sent describing what they are wearing,etc. It also shows you exactly where you are in relation to the parent.

“You are only alerted when you are relevant,” he said.

The application is free and available for the iPhone and any Android platform mobile device. No information is shared with any other companies.

Guardians pay a one time fee of less than $4 to maintain child profiles and send alerts. Heroes can upgrade to a Guardian level.

For now, the focus is to build a network.

“We are going to save a child this year,” he stated.

Okuszko comes from a finance background and moved to Sooke in 2007 to take advantage of the opportunities to sail, surf and balance his work and life. When he became a father his attention shifted to his family. He spent eight months conceptualizing the HERO system and then collaborated with a team to create the HERO application.

“It’s a Victoria company, a North American idea and a global purpose,” said Okuszko.

For more information go to: GetHeroApp.com.

Just Posted

Province announces more improvements for Highway 14

$85-million project made possible through federal funding support

Wild Wise Sooke founder leaves post

Lush Cosmetics offers much-needed funding for the group

UVic partners with harm reduction groups to run a drug checking pilot project

The three-year pilot will allow people to test their drugs for fatal ingredients like fentanyl

Public asked to give feedback on proposed protection measures for southern resident orcas

Measures focus on key threats related to contaminants, lack of prey, noise or physical disturbance

Many teens unaware if they’re vaping nicotine or not

Health Canada survey finds many youth are unaware of the risks of using nicotine products

WATCH: Police call Happy Valley shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident

One person in custody, another fled following crash on Kelly Road

Woe, Canada: Bruins down Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7

No Canadian teams left in Stanley Cup playoffs

Music Monday to unite students across Sooke in song

Over 200 students will carol around town on May 6

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

POLL: Do you think the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be rebuilt?

Images of one of the word’s most iconic landmarks were seared into… Continue reading

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Pug life: B.C. town boasts waggish list of dog names

Freedom-of-information request lists most ‘pupular’ dog names registered in White Rock

Most Read