messaging for emergencies

 

Case Study: Crisis Support UK

Background

In the aftermath of any major emergency, there can be enormous distress for survivors, family and friends of those involved, the wider community, and the responders. The support provided in the aftermath can significantly influence how people cope with the consequences and how quickly a community is restored to normality. The support required will range from the provision of immediate comfort and practical help through to longer term psychological support.

No single organisation can readily cope with the human aspects of a major emergency, thus a multi-agency approach, drawing on wider skills and experience, is favourable. Crisis Support UK (CS-UK) is a partnership between the public, private and voluntary sectors, pulling together and sharing a broad range of skills, and providing a comprehensive, consistent, and validated standard of training to develop Crisis Support Officers to perform this critical role under extreme pressure. CS-UK operates in Dudley, Shropshire, Telford, Wakefield & Worcestershire.

Requirements

CS-UK coordinates itís operations using a BT conference call system. However, it is still necessary to alert local teams, each over 60 members, and let them know when to dial in. The previous call-tree system was too slow and inefficient, so they were looking for a new solution.

CS-UK needed a system that could be used from a PC, but could also be triggered from a standard phone by an officer who was at a remote location with no internet access. It was also essential to be able to track message receipt so that any Crisis Support Officers who missed the original message could be contacted later.

Solution

CS-UK approached Responder Technology, operators of the SMS Responder Service, to trial their solution with a view to utilising it for their callouts. Now all of their Crisis Support Officers can be activated with a single text and briefed together, in one central teleconference, a few minutes minutes later.

Responder Technology are working closely with CS-UK to ensure SMS Responder continues to meet their needs in the future as the mutual aid network continues to grow.

Customer website: www.crisissupportuk.org

"Reliable system, tested regularly and used successfully during two major callouts (Alvechurch coach crash and Floods 2014)"

Mike Warner, Worcestershire County Council