When Lives Depend on Clear, Reliable Communication
January 30, 2017 | Featured Story
A forest fire rages out of control and a community is at risk. Shots ring out on a busy downtown street. An "accident" turns out to be anything but...
Recent events, at home and abroad, are stark reminders of the need for our public safety and security personnel and first responders to be prepared.
Those charged with protecting us train so they are ready to confront whatever threats arise; but they are sometimes let down by something that most of us take for granted in this era of smartphones and ubiquitous social media: reliable and instantaneous communication amongst themselves and with other public safety agencies.
Firefighters and police battling an aggressive forest fire in Northern Alberta in May of this year had limited communications when the commercial cellular network was badly damaged, making it difficult for them to track the fire, establish safe escape routes and locate their fellow responders. In March, police in Brussels were forced to turn to social media to coordinate their response to a terrorist attack when their radio network was overloaded -- eventually the commercial network too crashed, under the weight of thousands of texts sent and videos posted. This is not acceptable.
What if our emergency and security personnel had access to reliable and integrated communication networks? To the information they need to effectively work together to save lives?