The Unwired Medic

Teaching EMS providers & other public safety pros about using mobile tech to improve their practice, patient care, continuing education, scene safety, general entertainment, & productivity.

What’s On My Blackberry?


I have a government issued Crack Blackberry Bold to go along with my personal Android. I’m already on my second Blackberry (a Verizon Blackberry Bold 9650), as the first one issued to me, brand-new, out-of-the-box, absolutely wouldn’t run more than six hours before dying. It was always very warm to the touch over the battery, and replacing the battery with another new one was no good. It was put out to the warranty pasture within a week of issuance, and replaced with an identical model, which thus far has given me no real trouble. The boss’ boss said if I had any more trouble with this one, I could have ANY phone I want, and he meant it too! Naturally, I’m hoping this phone will be deceased in short order, especially because I am not very fond of the device interface (but that’s for another post), but being a man of integrity, I will not precipitate this unit’s demise, so I have decided to make the most of the device I do have in my hands. Here are the apps I have used, in some cases, for many years, on previous smartphones, and now on my Blackberry…

App name (in alphabetical order)
and brief app description:

Click on the QR Code to visit the App World page. To scan the QR Code, open App World on your device, then open the menu and select “Scan a Barcode”.

Dropbox – File sharing and syncing from phone, to tablet, to PC, to Mac, and every which way in between. Start with 2GB free (the least of the main file sharing and syncing services) and get 500MB free for yourself and 250MB free for a friend when they sign up using your referral link (here’s mine if you want to use it to sign up: Register for a free Dropbox account). Complete the tour and get 250MB free. Recently, they added a Camera Upload feature to give users 3GB more free (only when using camera upload for new pictures and videos), but I have tried and tried to do this with no success. There are paid upgrades available.

ePocrates – As I stated in a previous post, I think ePocrates is pretty much the cat’s meow when it comes to pharmaceutical references. Since I covered it on depth before, I won’t elaborate here. My suggestion is that you have a decent wi-fi connection or it will take a long time to install, then update and sync all the data.

No QR Code for this one since you don’t get it direct from App World.
Use this link instead:

Free Flashlight (2-in-1) – I use this app often enough that I programmed the left side button to activate the camera LED. It comes in handy when you suddenly find yourself in a dark room and need a bright light. There is also a screen light, which activates the LCD for a less intense light, or in case you don’t have a camera LED.

In Case of Emergency (ICE) – Exactly what you think. I added this to the top row of my favorites so you’ll see it right away on my home screen. Just run it and fill in whatever info you want on the form. I know there are many variations of this type of app, but I liked this one.

QR Code Scanner Pro – First benefit? It’s free. Second, it scans every QR code I toss at it with no complaining. It simply works.

Relief Central – by Unbound Medicine, the same folks who publish the Merck Manual and all those “5-Minute… Consult” guides. A handy medical reference indeed, designed for disaster responders.

Relief Central includes The World Factbook from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Field Operations Guide from USAID, the CDC Health Information for International Travel (The Yellow Book), MEDLINE Journals, and Relief News from the CDC, Red Cross, FEMA, ReliefWeb, and more. This free resource delivers up-to-date information to assist those sent to disaster sites.

What they don’t tell you on the App World page or even in the app is that you must first register for the app (free), which consists of your name, e-mail, and profession category, then they e-mail you a serial number to activate the app on your device. You should also install and initially run this app on a decent wi-fi connection or it will take a long time to sync and update.

Go to Unbound Medicine – Blackberry to register.

Relief Central App QR Code

Skyscape Medical Resources – Also, an extremely handy medical reference, Skyscape gives you access to calculators, abstracts, and tons of other useful medical references and guides. They also have many premium products and have been in the mobile device publishing arena since the original Palm and Windows PocketPC days.

Now, just like Relief Central, the App World page makes no mention of needing to register, but the app will tell you to register on first use to sync data. It’s free… just go to and click the “My account” link on the top left, or, you should be able to create the new account from the app itself.

SugarSync – You know, the more I use SugarSync, the more I like it. For signing up, you get 5GB free, then up to another 750MB free for doing the “Getting Started” tour, then 250MB more for installing and running the tutorial on your mobile device (that’s now 6GB free), and then 500MB free for you and every person who signs up with your referral link (like this one: SugarSync referral link).

Tune-In Radio – Listen to nearly every radio station in the country (or even not in the country), plus they have a ton of free online scanner feeds for police, fire, and EMS. Not much need to go to RadioShack and buy a $200 scanner when you can stream it right into your phone from the web. I like to listen to some radio stations from areas I used to live in for the sake of nostalgia too. There is a Pro version available without ads, but this one is the freebie version.

Tune-In Radio App QR Code

WISER (Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders) – Developed by the US National Library of Medicine / National Institutes of Health (NLM-NIH), WISER is a system designed to assist first responders in hazardous material incidents. WISER provides a wide range of information on hazardous substances, including substance identification support, physical characteristics, human health information, and containment and suppression advice. There is also a web version, aptly named WebWISER. Learn more at :


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