messaging for emergencies

 

Case Study: YALSAR

Background

YALSAR is a Lowland Search and Rescue team that covers South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. The group is made up entirely of volunteers who are willing to give up their time to help others and potentially save lives. Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the team is equipped to reach even the furthest parts of the county within an hour. We work with South Yorkshire Police, Humberside Police and other emergency services to undertake specialist searches or major incident support.

All of our volunteers are trained to national standards in comprehensive Search and Rescue techniques and those skills are extended by further training in other relevant subjects like first aid, navigation and communications to name but a few. YALSAR was formed in April 2010 and has been called out 12 times so far in 2012

Requirements

YALSAR were looking for a system that could be utilised to enhance their callouts. They had previously used a single ‘Duty Phone’ (mobile) to enable callouts to be initiated.

This was found to be an unsatisfactory method because the person initiating the call had to spend time administering the calls from team members coming back in, rather than preparing for the incident.

When it was necessary to use the Duty Phone to communicate with team members about an incident, this tied up the phone so that incoming messages could not be easily seen.

Solution

YALSAR approached Responder Technology, operators of the SMS Responder Service to trial their leading SMS based solution. SMS Responder gave YALSAR the ability to store all of their members’ numbers centrally online, as opposed to on a single PC or phone. It provided the ability to send text message both from the web or a phone to a targeted group of people, thus controlling costs.

The new system has freed up organisers to concentrate on their incident, and helps monitor who is attending and who is not. With a 24 hour service YALSAR also need 24 hour availability for their messaging, which is provided by SMS Responder’s dual-server resilience system.

Customer website: http://www.yalsar.co.uk

“..feedback seems very positive from the police and other user services...V5 is enabling us to respond faster”

Ian Dermondy, YALSAR