“My Watchman” Emergency Response App Launches in Liberia

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Mr. Klark said: "The most effective feature of the My Watchman App is locationality. “When you call for help, responders will know your precise location and you will know who is responding to your SOS and an ETA. We utilize a network of service providers, mostly private entities, spread across our coverage area.”

A mobile app with 24 hours secured monitoring and emergency dispatch command center has been launched to help curb crime and offer other emergency services, a platform that aims to give people that opportunity whenever there is an emergency.

My Watchman, as it’s called, is a full-service, personal security, and property monitoring app, with a 24 hours emergency response network and command center.

The app, which was launched over the weekend at a resort in Sinkor, promises a smarter and safer way to protect family and property with access to help anywhere and anytime with just a click of a button on a smartphone.  

The app is a registered trademark of Advanced Converged Technologies LLC (ACT), a technology company with regional offices in Liberia.  It’s a reliable, easy to use SOS/911 Mobile App with 24/7 secured monitoring and an emergency dispatch command center.

According to My Watchman the company’s initial approach was to design the weaponized camera that could be controlled from a mobile phone via an app but while trying to secure funding for such advanced innovation, the team realized that only a small segment of society would be able to afford the cameras.

The app is now available for download on Android and iOS devices. For now, My Watchman focuses on security, fire, medical, and gender-based violence emergencies.

In case of a medical, fire or one safety emergency, just a push of the button on the app will instantly alert the command center. A MyWatch operator from the command center will immediately call the person to assess the situation, and promptly dispatch the emergency responders.

Mr. Oliver Wleh Klark Jr., Chief Executive Officer of Advanced Converged Technologies, the firm that created My Watchman, explains how his then-girlfriend (now wife) had an encounter with armed robbers, who tried to break into her residence one night and, thankfully, the criminals were not successful and left by the time Klark and his brother arrived on the scene.

Oliver Klark, Jr. in conversation with Ms. Norwu Howard, Deputy Minister for Administration, Ministry of Health

“That the incident left me with the ‘what if’ moment,” Klark recalls. “I kept asking myself what if. What if I was not in the country?”

“While thinking over it. I tried to develop a solution and I took the idea to the office and said gentlemen, can we find a solution?”

While finding the solution he said another fire incident took place involving the loss of life of one of his neighbours.

He added: “Again, I said what if she had access to emergency response? So, we said we can use this unfortunate event as a learning situation to provide fire emergency response to other people who have a fire emergency. So, we incorporated that situation into our plan to cater to that. And that is how the fire emergency came about. And so, we said we can do fire, we can do security, we can do health, and a lot more we can do with our platform to give people that opportunity whenever there is an emergency.”

My Watchman partners: John Bernard of ACT, Abraham Kromah of Pilot Security, Oliver Klark of ACT and a Mr. Archie Moore, a local businessman.

The My Watchman CEO praised partners and also urged residents to take advantage of the opportunity and be safe in the case of an emergency.  

He added: “If anyone of you here has utilized the app, you will realize how good the service is and that is because we have reliable people, dedicated staffs, day-in and day-out, regardless of what the weather situation is, they are working around the clock.

“From the moment you signal us, the call goes to the dispatch center and the dispatch center gets the respondent next to you.”

The value of the My Watchman app is that it empowers public and private emergency services to be more efficient and impactful and provides the trajectory for expansion. For exmaple, the Liberia National Fire Service, which was for the longest time relegated to its Ashmun street headquarters, is now seeing its fleet of fire trucks and firemen, decentralized across the country in strategic locations. And they are now seeing fantastic results, being able to respond to fires within minutes, saving lives and properties. My Watchman has also partnered with the Ministry of Health’s Emergency Management Team (EMT), to provide emergency medical services. Again, ambulances are no longer centralized at the Ministry, but decentralized at strategic points across the country to ensure the shortest response time.

In the private sector, My Watchman also partners with Abu Developmental Initiative (ADI) a private ambulance service provider, as well as with Pilot Security, a security firm with enough manpower and mobility to respond to security emergencies.

Klark says the security response units is divided into zones and are mobile. “This network of ambulances gives us the ability to promptly respond to medical emergencies raised from our app. For our Fire Emergency Response, we have the new, improved, and decentralized Liberia National Fire Service. Through our partnership, we have enabled the Liberia National Fire Service decentralization goal by helping with the renovation of the Point Four/Bong Mines Bridge Fire Station and the Steven Tolbert Estate Fire Station and the placement of fire engines at those locations and three other locations including Sinkor, Rehab Road, and Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County.”

Members of the audience at the launch of the My Watchman emergency services app.

Col. Alex K. Dickson, head of the Liberia National Fire Service, praised the My Watchman team for what he terms as innovation to the country.

Mr. Abraham Kromah, former Deputy for Operations at the Liberia National Police and CEO of Pilot Security, lauded the effort of the My Watchman team and promised to give them his full support when it comes to the issue of responding to crime.

My Watchman currently offers four (4) emergency response services: Security, Medical, Fire, and an SGBV Hotline. All our subscribers, regardless of their plan, will have access to all the services offered.

A fifth serivce, Roadside Assistance, is expected to launch in March 2021 and the cameras will be introduced later as a value-added component of the app. The Roadside Assistance, Klark says, will include a network of gas stations, tire repair shops, mechanics, and tow trucks to provide a convenient service for customers who experience automobile breakdowns.

1 COMMENT

  1. I appreciate the innovation and what they are working towards. In the end I don’t know how a subscription program will help the people who need it the most: the poor who are often targeted.

    It sadly points to the bigger item of minimal infrastructure. So if you don’t have this app what option do you have to get help? Don’t overlook the fact that there is the profit aspect as well; this company if offering paid services. I’m interested in how people without a credit card or bank account can utilize it…

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