As the one-year anniversary of the Ferguson incident was fast approaching in August of this year, the St. Louis County Emergency Management chose to deploy the AtHoc secure crisis communication solution.
With so many technologies available in the marketplace to intercept radio communications, securing what is being said between first responders is extremely important. This not only guarantees the safety of police and firefighters, but it also ensures services are delivered to residents without any interference.
“We needed an efficient way to manage crisis awareness. The anniversary of the Ferguson events accelerated the urgency to get a system in place as quickly as possible. The protection of the community and the citizens of St. Louis County is our top priority - we needed to make sure our first responders could communicate openly and efficiently should a crisis arise,” said Paul Dupuis, Emergency Management Specialist.
AtHoc, a division of BlackBerry, provides highly secure alerting and personnel accountability solutions. The platform the company offers is a comprehensive crisis communication and mass notification solution designed to unify all channels and devices. This gave the authorities in St. Louis the ability to empower organizations, people and communities so they can communicate more effectively and collaborate during the critical events that took place in the course of the first anniversary.
The unified emergency mass notification system can deliver messages to computers, phone (cell, landline, VoIP), social media, sirens, digital displays, radio, PA systems and more, essentially covering virtually every communication platform available in the marketplace. Additionally it can be customized to alert and target users based on location and profiles. According to the company, this customization can target devices and recipients based on geolocation down to the individual's blood type.
The AtHoc platform has multiple flexible deployment options while safeguarding valuable personal data and enabling enterprise-level command and control across dispersed geographical environments. This has earned the company a certification by the Department of Homeland Security for the level of security it provides.
The interoperability and scalability of the company’s technology has led public and private organizations such as the US Air Force, US Army, US Navy, US Coast Guard, US Department of Veterans Affairs, UCLA, Microsoft, Boeing, Raytheon and many others to use the platform.
“We designed our system to be both powerful to use as well as rapidly deployable. We are proud that both of these attributes contributed to the safety of the Saint Louis County citizens in their first use of AtHoc, the same proven technology used by the Department of Homeland Security for the protection of their own personnel,” said Jim Hoppe, AtHoc's Vice President of Commercial and SLED.