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Decisions For Heroes uses Tropo to improve rescue team communications

Posted on August 13, 2010 by Adam Kalsey

Decisions for Heroes provides a web-based application that helps organize and analyze rescue operations and training exercises. From team and individual status reports, training updates, and communication to rescuers, Decisions for Heroes (D4H) helps save lives by improving the response time and response quality of rescue organizations.

While volunteering as a rescue climber for the Irish Coast Guard, Robin Blandford noticed that first responder teams all faced three common challenges. “They have a lot of equipment to train in, massive communication logistics, and large amounts of paperwork to back it up.” Robin set out to ease these issues, allowing emergency responder groups to make better, faster decisions.

Blandford’s creation allows teams to monitor response readiness, team availability, valid qualifications, and rescuer experience. All a team member needs is a browser and an internet connection and they can record details from their rescue operations or training exercises. Decisions for Heroes analyzes this raw data to create charts, heatmaps and benchmarks that teams can use to find areas or strength and weakness. By studying the patterns that emerge, teams can even embark on education campaigns to reduce accidents before they happen.

Decisions for Heroes just added SMS for US and Canadian teams using Tropo. Using either a web-based interface or a mobile phone, teams can blast messages out to a specific user or an entire group. The system allows messages to be targeted to everyone or just those that are on call at that moment. Teams can use this to quickly organize a rescue effort without having to contact each member individually.

Sending SMS from the web

Responders can interact with D4H with SMS as well. A rescuer that’s taking a break can send a text message to Decisions for Heroes and be taken off the on-call list and can check back in via SMS when they return.

D4H via SMS

Decisions for Heroes chose Tropo to provide their SMS services. Our interconnection with large numbers of global SMS networks allows them to expand the service without worrying that their SMS provider can’t keep up. Our built-in support for PHP means their development team didn’t have to learn a new platform. Our customer obsession teams have allowed them to iterate rapidly, knowing that support is always around if questions arise.

Robin says they’re planning on adding voice services using Tropo, allowing updates and notifications anywhere you have a phone line. A prototype has been built, and plans for further development and rollout are in the works.

Want to experience our famous Customer Obsession? Build a voice or SMS app with global reach today. It’s free to get started and we’re in our forums and IRC channel 24×7 to help you out.

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