Translate in a medical emergency? There's an app for that

Translate in a medical emergency? There's an app for that »Play Video
A screenshot from the Google Translate app on an iPhone.

THE DALLES, Ore. – You’re probably heard the advertising tagline “there’s an app for that.” Well, it’s a safe bet that the advertising executive behind that phrase didn’t see this story coming.

Two Oregon State Police troopers reached for a smart phone on Sunday to help a man suffering from a diabetic reaction who couldn’t speak English.

Sgt. Pat Shortt and Senior Trooper Mike Holloran stopped a car near The Dalles around 3 p.m. Sunday after several complaints that the driver was impaired.

The car was driving westbound on I-84 at the time.

Once they stopped the car, they realized the 57-year-old man behind the wheel didn’t speak English. Rather, he spoke Chinese, Shortt said.

The troopers had a hard time communicating with the man, but noticed he was indeed showing signs of impairment.

That’s when Holloran opened up the Google Translate app on his smart phone. He used the translation app to speak with the man in Chinese and realized he was a diabetic, Shortt said.

Medical personnel arrived and confirmed the man’s blood sugar was very high and that he was undergoing a diabetic reaction. He was taken to a nearby hospital.

Later, the man’s son drove down from Seattle to help his father, Shortt said.