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Alert, alarmed and definitely prepared

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ADTEC Communications has launched a high-tech and reliable urban-style communications network for those living in remote situations, such as mining settlements, farms and rural outposts. The choice and flexibility of the system, called Alerts, means there is no need for massive injections of capital or large-scale infrastructure.

Alerts (Adtec Linked Emergency Response Telephone System) provides fast, easy and reliable emergency services for alerting, disaster recovery, trauma team notification, team conference calls and messaging, tailored to the specific needs of emergency services operations, remote communities and isolated communities.

Alerts is a fully-scalable robust emergency communications system designed to link people who live and/or work in mining communities, outback stations, rural emergency services, agricultural sites and oil and gas platforms. An easy-to-use and reliable communications network is essential for people who live in these remote areas.

Heartstart, an Australian voluntary organisation based in Nana Glen near Coffs Harbour in northern NSW, recently installed the Alerts system. The organisation acts as a facilitator and first responder to help local emergency services, in particular, the local ambulance service, in saving human lives.

Heartstart’s spokesperson, Alex Crowe, said the organisation is the first responder to any local medical emergencies.

“We help locate the patient, help guide the ambulance to the patient, providing onsite assistance such as heart defibrillation, oxygen and general patient comfort," he said.

Although Mr Crowe insists he and his fellow volunteers "are not doctors", he admits that over the past 12 months, Heartstart has attended and assisted at over 40 medical emergencies in the local area.

This has been made possible because of the Alerts system, according to Alex Crowe. Unlike other communications systems that only call one phone number at a time, the Alerts system calls can be set up to call hundreds of phone numbers simultaneously if required. In the case of Heartstart, 25 phone numbers are rung simultaneously during an emergency - regardless of the time of day or night. This is crucial for organisations such as Heartstart.

"You don't have a situation where 25 phone numbers are rung up separately until someone happens to pick up the phone,” said Mr Crowe. “That scenario could put lives at risk.”

“The Alerts system on the other hand, makes sure that all 25 numbers are rung at once, thereby cutting down our response time immensely. Without the Alerts system, I have no doubt lives could have been lost."

After using the system extensively over the past three years, Crowe said he would recommend Alerts to anyone who lives or works in an isolated or remote community.

Alerts is used by the NSW Rural Fire Brigade, SA Country Fire Service and the Victorian SES. Adtec Communications Director Jeremy Sharp said the Alerts system was developed primarily because the company became aware of a need for a reliable, flexible emergency alerting system for volunteer organisations.

Alerts technical data:

* Activation by calling telephone number and entering PIN

* Simple voice prompts for initiators and participants

* Multiple contact numbers possible for each participant

* Calls programmable for emergency conference or broadcast message only

* Easy changes to team members by administration personnel

* Multiple conferences can be held simultaneously

* Local or remote control by operator software

* Interfaces to radio paging systems

* Logging of all system activity

* System memory retained in event of power failure

* System be expanded easily by addition of line cards

* Can be used to handle standard conference calls.

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