Having access to communications in a crisis situation, a challenge ?

Every first responder knows that having communication in a crisis situation is a luxury even when telecommunication infrastructures aren’t damaged. Working with people on the field has helped us to better understand how communications are deployed when a crisis situation occurs. Sharing with NGOs and other organizations  helped us identify communication issues faced by emergency services when they have to go to a disaster zone.

As mentioned before, emergency services, all levels of government and NGOs that are deployed on the ground rarely know the state of telecommunication infrastructures before they arrive on site. When mobile networks are unavailable, responders have in many cases to wait for telecommunication companies to get the network repaired. The problem is that it may take a few hours, even days before the communications get reinstated.

Fortunately, while they wait for communication infrastructures, a number of emergency services can communicate with their radio networks. However, in certain areas emergency services work on specific frequencies, which prevent interoperable communications between responders (police, firefighter, public safety, etc.). Another difficulty observed is that many responders don’t have access to any radio so they cannot communicate with the outside world or even between each other, this can lead to catastrophic consequences. Deploying communications in a few minutes and having the capability to receive information in real time in crisis situations is essential and potentially life-saving in emergencies.

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These issues justify the use of a communication system such as Base Camp Connect. Through the system mobility and integration of several telecommunication technologies, an access to voice and data can be established in minutes anywhere, anytime. Thus, responders can concentrate their energy on operations instead of managing communications. Moreover, the single inbound number allows the first responders on an emergency to communicate together without knowing the number of every responders, which greatly increases the efficiency of the operation.

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