Travellers can alert emergency services with new panic button alarm

Kathryn Liston

Holidaymakers can call for help in an emergency overseas at the press of a button thanks to Skyguard's new international personal alarm.

The service is available in 34 European countries, the Russian Federation and South Africa.

Travellers can activate the emergency service using a device the size of a key fob or as a Blackberry app. Once activated, the user's location and identity will go to Skyguard's incident management centre in the UK, where trained controllers can listen in and talk to the caller, summon national emergency services and contact the victim's relatives or employers.

Medical details, medications and photographs already registered online can also be passed onto the emergency services.

The British Foreign & Commonwealth Office's British Behaviour Abroad report revealed that 19,228 Brits needed assistance overseas during the last 12 months, with Spain producing the most incidents.

James Murray, chief executive of Skyguard, said: "We believe we've created the ultimate peace of mind solution for travellers who know that their location will be exactly pinpointed and they can communicate immediately in English.

"When we receive an alarm we can immediately locate the person using advanced GPS technology and can quickly assess their needs and alert local police, paramedics or fire units."

Skyguard already operates a similar system in the UK which is used by individuals, companies and the police force.

Skyguard International is available from £29.95 a month or £18 a month as an add-on to the UK service, which starts at £11.95 a month based on a three-year contract. Shorter contracts are available.

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