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Troopers Use Language Translator Cell Phone App to Learn Driver Suffering Diabetic Problem
02/13/2012
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247
gregg.hastings@state.or.us

A cell phone app helped Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers communicate with a foreign speaking man whom they determined was experiencing a medical problem near The Dalles. The cell phone app translates more than 50 languages in text or spoken word.
 
According to Sergeant Pat Shortt, on February 12, 2012 several driving complaints of a possible impaired driver were received regarding a vehicle westbound on Interstate 84 from the Pendleton area. At approximately 3:05 p.m. Shortt and Senior Trooper Mike Holloran saw the vehicle and stopped it near The Dalles where they contacted the driver, a 57-year old man of Chinese descent who spoke little English.
 
Shortt and Holloran couldn't communicate clearly with the man whom they noted showed signs of possible impairment but there was a language barrier because he spoke Chinese. Utilizing a Google language translator app on a cell phone, Holloran communicated in Chinese and learned the man was diabetic.
 
Local emergency medical personnel responded and confirmed the man’s blood sugar level was abnormally high and he was undergoing a diabetic reaction. Following the medical assessment and initial treatment at the scene, he was transported to Mid-Columbia Medical Center. His son in Seattle, Washington was contacted and drove to the hospital to pick his father up.