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From left to right: Sergio Castro, executive director of Hidalgo County 9-1-1 Operations District, Angie Beltrán, communications supervisor for 9-1-1 MX, Silbia Barajas, executive director of Cameron County 9-1-1 Operations District, and Leopoldo Urdiales, sales and marketing director for 9-1-1 MX.

Hello. Welcome to everyone. Thank you for being here. It is an honor for me to be here, on this historical day.

In all of my career I have never been so excited and motivated by launching something so special, and with such a noble cause, which is saving lives.

As a kid, I was a restless and very active one. I had several head injuries, big hurts in legs and arms, a broken fingers, you name it. A little bit bigger playing soccer I suffered the breaking of the ACL in my right knee. I fell down from a 39-foot structure. I was part in at least three strong car crashes. I mean, I was always exposed to danger and risk. My parents were the ones who handled the emergencies in my family. They didn´t know what number they had to dial, they felt alone, desperate, and at the end they were who took me to the hospital in their own car. So, fortunately I’m alive.

Now as a Dad, I’m worried when I see the same dangers and risks for my kids, Polo and Rebecca who are six and three years old. They fall down from the bed directly to the floor, they get bloody noses, the flu, pains and are crying all the time. They go to school, play sports and all day long they go from one place to another.

I always wondered, what do I should do in an emergency? What number should I call in Mexico?

In the movies and TV shows I’ve always seen how easy it is to pick up the phone, call 9-1-1 and be attended by professionals. And I always wondered why doesn’t such an emergency number exist to call in Mexico? And not just a number, because 9-1-1 isn’t just a number. But, all that goes on behind that number, the professional system and processes to deal with any emergency.

Today I’m so happy to tell you that the professional response in assisted emergency calls from 9-1-1 is now in Mexico! It is 9-1-1MX.

As seen on video, 9-1-1MX is a private entity specializing in the assistance of emergency cell phone calls, through a mobile App.

We receive the call and the professional assistance of our operators give the first response, and first aids if necessary and coordinate and send the police, firefighters, ambulance and rescue teams.

In addition, due to big steps in technology and since our service is through an app, it has many more advantages and benefits such as the fact that we can identify our customer’s location via GPS. We don´t charge an additional fee for unlimited ambulances in cases where they are needed. And, we have an in-house 24-hour doctor willing to assist by phone any customer that has an emergency. And, just as you do in the United States, we stay online, until help arrive to the place the emergency is taking place.

I´m so proud to tell you that we have accomplished all of this because we are members of NENA (National Emergency Number Association) here in the U.S., and after a really hard work and due to all your support we have successfully taken the same operative process of 9-1-1 to Mexico, due to the trainings and annual conferences NENA offers. We have gathered vital information for facing emergencies.

We have the honor and privilege to communicate that, with NENA, and with the knowledge and cooperation of Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council, we have started operations in Mexico, with our friends and family as fully satisfied customers. We started by Monterrey and its metropolitan area, covering a population of about five million people and in the next months we plan deployment to cover the entire Mexican territory.

Our vision is that in a short period of time, U.S. citizens can be protected and safe when they travel to México, free of charge, by simply downloading the App, capturing some data, and tapping the 9-1-1MX emergency button to be assisted in their own language and that therefore they will not feel alone in our country.

We also know that many American friends cross the border for diverse purposes and some spend time in one of our border cities, for work, visiting family and friends, etc. So, for them we will have an International Conference Call service, where in case of any emergency will be assisted by 9-1-1MX but linked via a phone conference with the nearest PSAP in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

Thus, we will bring greater benefits like being aware that if a fellow citizen is involved in an emergency, we can assure the highest quality service and the standards that 9-1-1MX is providing, even their intervention, so we can increase the probabilities of a successful outcome.

In a few weeks we will be traveling to various cities in the U.S. where we plan to have this conference service coordination.

I am very thankful with all of you for your collaboration and support in the launching of 9-1-1MX. None of this would be possible without your help. I know this will strengthen the bonds between both countries, and that this is going to be one of the most remembered days in history, when finally 9-1-1, the App, comes to Mexico, when finally, the USA and Mexico share the same vision in saving lives.

Mexico will never be alone again.

Editor’s Note: The above commentary is based on a presentation Leopoldo Urdiales, sales and marketing director for 9-1-1 MX, gave to the board of directors of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council in Weslaco, Texas, on Tuesday, November 24, 2015. Also with Urdiales was Angie Beltrán, communications supervisor for 9-1-1 MX, and Silbia Barajas, executive director of Cameron County 9-1-1 Operations District. After the presentation, a number of city leaders who sit on the LRGVDC board asked Urdiales if he and Beltrán could speak at to their city commissions about the 9-1-1MX project.