Callmy News

Supporting Emergency Mobilisation for the FANY (PRVC)

FANY logo and image

Technology creates many shortcuts in our day to day lives, making things more enjoyable and work more efficient; however, in times of crisis the right tech to deploy for a rapid response becomes imperative. For the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (Princess Royal’s Volunteer Corps), a charity that deploys trained volunteers during emergencies, there was a need to move away from an inefficient patchwork of calls, WhatsApp and text messages to a more effective and efficient solution, and so it adopted a UK innovation called Callmy Alert.

The First Aid Nursing Yeomanry is a charity of 150 professionally trained female volunteers, who need to deploy quickly to staff operations rooms and incident lines in the event of a crisis. It is a crucial cog in the resilience measures of the capital’s civil and military authorities – such as the City of London Police, Ministry of Defence, London Coroners and the London Local Authorities’ Panel.

Members of the Corps are on standby 24/7, 365 days a year. Communicating quickly with volunteers and getting them on-site is crucial as incidents evolve at speed which is challenging as many members are in full-time roles in their busy day jobs. Callmy Alert enabled the Corps to cut across traditional communication problems to reach members at the time it matters most.

First Aid Nursing Yeomanry 

Founded in 1907, with a mission to provide volunteers, trained and capable of supporting civil and military authorities within the UK during any major emergency, the Corps is an all-female organisation that deploys multi-faceted rapid response teams to a crisis. It is the world’s longest established uniformed ‘military’ voluntary organisation for women.

Deployments in recent years include assisting immediately following the terrorist attacks in Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge and in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.  Two years later, the Corps supported again following the Fishmongers’ Hall incident.

Since March 2020, the Corps has provided over 1,000 days of free support to nine organisations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in roles ranging from call handling in the NHS Nightingale Hospital London and a number of Coroners to Personal Staff Officers for the City of London Police and the Royal London Hospital.

The Corps provides a much-needed professional surge relief at critical moments and is renowned for its flexibility and adaptability.

Challenges

At the time of adopting Callmy Alert in January 2021, the Corps needed a faster and more efficient emergency activation system in how it tackled emergency incidents – something that could reach all volunteers immediately, regardless of where they were, what they were doing or an individual’s technological know-how. Previously it had been predominantly using email and WhatsApp to reach its members.

WhatsApp, while great for socializing, is not an effective option during a crisis. It can be silenced, deleted, turned off, and crucial information can get lost in a stream of messages from friends and family.

“Members are finding this app useful and easy to use.  It is reassuring to be able to get messages out from different pieces of equipment – by using the App on mobile phone, logging in on a laptop or even leaving a voice message using any available phone” said Staff Commander Alexandra Milne, Operations Officer.

Getting the message through

Given the nature of some of the jobs of their volunteers, phones are often turned to silent, which is a problem when an important emergency alert needs to get through. One of the appeals of Callmy Alert for the Corps was its ability to override the silent mode, should it need to.

The Corps were able to use Callmy Alert messages to:

  • Request acknowledgment of the messages so that the number of recipients can be monitored
  • Override devices that are set to silent or DND – vital during out of hours situations
  • Repeat message notifications until the user has responded in the manner requested

In addition, the Operations Team found it useful to see how quickly members were able to access the messages via a management portal that can be accessed via computer, tablet or phone, which they were unable to do previously without scrolling through a thousand WhatsApp messages. The Portal also includes message response details and the ability to delete messages to remove them from end user devices – a useful feature to maintain security and information control.

Expanding service

“As a charity, we are incredibly grateful to Callmy for providing us with this fantastic system,” said Commandant Philippa Lorimer MBE, Commanding Officer.

The punch-through of the information has been crucial to the Corps in being able to respond quickly to circumstances. It used the system to great effect for mobilising staff during the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral (Operation FORTH BRIDGE). The volunteers were quickly alerted to the news of the death of His Royal Highness and to confirm that the Corps had been put on ‘standby’ – this effectively means that volunteers would check their availability over the coming days and begin to make any necessary arrangements regarding employment or family commitments.  A subsequent message was sent, containing shifts patterns and further details, which required members to acknowledge it.

A crisis never happens on a planned schedule, you simply don’t know when, how or where something is going to happen. When lives may depend on it, you need to be sure, whatever the time, whatever the situation important messages can always get through and Callmy Alert provides a fantastic solution.

About Callmy

Callmy is a UK technology company that develops the Callmy Alert service. Callmy Alert ensures organisations can communicate and recover from challenging situations.

Callmy Alert has been designed to overcome the issues of having to use solutions, such as SMS, WhatsApp and email, that have not been designed specifically for crisis communication.These do not always guarantee the most successful outcome and can severely undermine operational resilience when stressed. In addition, Callmy Alert Integration capabilities can automate the delivery of critical communication and will ensure the right people get the right information at the right time.

CallmyAlert is deployed in Higher Education, with the NHS, Emergency Services, Government and the Finance Sector. The service helps to support business continuity, emergency communication and the duty of care required for staff in lone working situations.

For further information visit: https://www.callmy.com

Callmy Alert Gains BS8484 Certification

Callmy is pleased to announce it has been awarded the BS8484:2016 standard for its lone working application.

For any service provider it’s important to be able to demonstrate their credentials. Potential customers need to know the standards they can expect and existing customers need to know how they can hold suppliers to account. This is especially true when it comes to protecting people in their everyday working lives and vital for lone worker services.

Setting a new standard

BS8484 is the British Standard for the provision of lone worker services. In 2009, the British Standards Institution (BSI) introduced BS8484 to set a benchmark for those who provide lone worker safety services. To keep pace with developments, particularly in the technology underpinning these services, the BSI reviewed and updated BS8484 in 2016. As a result, the new BS8484:2016 standard was launched, which now acts as a code of practice to providers of lone worker services.

Working with the emergency services

To achieve compliance with the standard, providers must be able to demonstrate to auditors that they meet all requirements. This includes basic issues such as the management structure of their organisation, financial stability, adequate insurance and robust data protection and privacy policies.

Ultimately, the BS8484 review benefited lone workers and their employers, and improved relations between lone worker safety solution providers and the emergency services. And this last point is vital. The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) ensure that police will only respond to lone worker applications if the solution provided is certified by audit to BS8484.

An end-to-end certified service

In order to provide our customers with a fully certified end-to-end capability, Callmy Alert SOS activations can be triaged on a 24×7 basis via a dedicated Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC). This facility is provided in partnership with Cougar Monitoring, whose ARC is also certified to the BS8484:2016 standard. In addition Callmy Alert also includes an emergency notification service which is an integrated part of the end user’s Callmy Alert app – this provides a highly effective means to deliver two way messaging to end users and further ensures their safety.

A great endorsement

“We are delighted to be awarded the BS8484:2016 standard” commented Tony Watson CEO of Callmy Ltd, “our customers now have the added assurance that Callmy has been independently audited by SSAIB, who have endorsed the quality of our application, service delivery and company. This will help our customers to fully comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act for lone working security, whilst also demonstrating to their staff they are making prudent investments to support duty of care.

More information

For more information on the Callmy Alert Lone Working solution or to receive your free Lone Working Risk Assessment Checklist and Lone Working Policy Template, please contact us or visit our website: www.callmy.com

Callmy Alert Successfully Secures Place on G-Cloud 12

CCS LogoCallmy Ltd is delighted to announce it has been selected as a Crown Commercial Service supplier and Callmy Alert can now be procured through the G-Cloud 12 framework.

What is G-Cloud?

The G-Cloud initiative is designed to help the UK Government procure cloud computing services, including cloud hosting services, cloud software and cloud support services through the Digital Market Place. Companies that join the framework must offer the very highest security standards and undergo rigorous audits.

The Digital Marketplace, and all the frameworks included in it, is managed by the Crown Commercial Service, an executive agency and trading fund of the Cabinet Office of the UK Government. Their role is to improve the government’s commercial and procurement activity.

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Callmy Announce Integration with Sentinel

Monitor LogoCallmy announce they are now an integration partner with Monitor Computer Systems

Monitor Computer Systems Ltd has been a premier supplier of the Sentinel alarm monitoring system to the UK and international markets since its founding in 1984. Their customers include major security companies, local authorities, telecoms companies, financial institutions and police authorities.

Sentinel has the ability to simultaneously monitor an organisation’s security equipment and systems, providing single point of management and control. Currently around 600,000 live signalling systems are monitored to the relevant British, European and US standards with software provided by Monitor Computer Systems.

The Callmy Alert SOS service is part of this portfolio and will offer Sentinel users the ability to triage Callmy Alert SOS activations and provide a new managed service option for our Lone Working capability.

The Callmy Alert personal SOS app enables organisations to comply with Health and Safety legislation whilst also looking after the wellbeing and welfare of their staff. The app is a great alternative to hardware based solutions and has the scope to introduce significant cost savings too!

Users can set a timer, in the app, that automatically activates their SOS alert if it is not cancelled. Alternatively, users can manually activate their Callmy Alert SOS if they are in a dangerous situation.

The activation instantly notifies a response team who can view the user’s contact details and locate them via their precise GPS coordinates. The end user can also be tracked to help direct security staff or the emergency services.

Additionally, the response team can access the microphone on the end users device, whilst the SOS is active, to listen to ambient noise at the scene – this helps to mobilise the most appropriate response.

All SOS usage and activation data is securely stored for audit and evidential purposes.

Callmy Welcomes More New Customers

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We are pleased to welcome new customers who have recently chosen the Callmy Alert Mass Notification and Lone Working capabilities.

These include:

HMRC, who have integrated Callmy Alert with their security equipment to automate the delivery of emergency messages. This will also improve the mobilisation of their key responders.

Hartpury University are implementing the Callmy Alert Mass Notification and SOS services. These will enhance lockdown/evacuation procedures and offer students a means to “call for help” if they are in threatening situations.

Callmy Alert has also been chosen by Christians Against Poverty and we are delighted to support this worthwhile organisation.

Please contact us to discuss your requirements or to arrange a demonstration of Callmy Alert in action.

Callmy Alert – supporting your compliance with ISO22301

BCP ImageISO 22301, the standard for Business Continuity Management, emphasises the need for a well-defined incident response structure.

This ensures that when incidents occur, responses are escalated in a timely manner and people are empowered to take the necessary actions to be effective – section 8.4.3 of the standard details the requirements for a communication and warning system.

Callmy Alert is the idea service to support your Business Continuity communication and to ensure compliance. It is a simple to use service and provides a complete audit of all message activity and response – vital to help assess how situations were resolved and to refine future plans.

Covid-19 will probably mean business continuity plans will be reappraised and this could also be a great opportunity to consider how emergency communication can now be evolved.

Please contact usto discuss your requirements or to arrange a demonstration of Callmy Alert in action.

More organisations choose Callmy Alert

We are pleased to welcome new customers who have recently adopted the Callmy Alert Mass Notification and Lone Working capabilities.

These include West Midlands Ambulance Service, who are using Callmy Alert as a means of emergency communication for Lone Workers in their IT department and Sedex who have deployed Callmy Alert globally to underpin their response to Business Continuity situations.

Bolton Council have also recently replaced an outdated SMS broadcast system with Callmy Alert – favouring the improved performance and added security of the service, as well as the additional cost savings that have been introduced. The Council will use Callmy Alert for Civil Contingency response and to aid their organisational resilience.

Callmy To Sponsor HEBCoN 2020 Conference

HEBCoN LogCallmy are pleased to announce they are sponsoring the HEBCoN 2020 Conference.

HEBCoN’s mission is to promote and enhance the ability of Higher Education Institutions to identify and manage their risks, withstand and respond to disruptive events; maintaining the delivery of critical services to students through the sharing & promotion of best practice in risk management, emergencyplanning and business continuity.

Callmy will be discussing how their services support the communications required for effective emergency response, the delivery of Business Continuity and to aid compliance with BS22301.

HEBCoN 2020 will be held in Liverpool on 19th and 20th March at the Crowne Plaza Liverpool City Centre Hotel

Emergency Exercise on track for HORIBA MIRA using Callmy Alert

 

Being a global provider of pioneering engineering, research and test services to the automotive, defence, aerospace and rail sectors, HORIBA MIRA know the importance of emergency planning and preparedness.

With this in mind Callmy Alert was put to the test during an exercise, which involved HORIBA MIRA staff and a joint response from the West Midlands Fire and Ambulance services.

The test scenario was based around a vehicle accident on HORIBA MIRA’s proving ground and as this extends to some 100km is a challenging event to plan for.

Callmy Alert was used to help mobilise key responders and escalate communication to Bronze and Silver teams. Emergency messages were sent from emergency control directly to the Callmy Alert app. As the app is reserved for urgent situations, an open rate of 86% was achieved within a few minutes of sending – faster and more secure than email, WhatsApp or SMS and delivered with a complete audit trail via the Callmy Alert Management Portal.

HORIBA MIRA are now looking to use their Callmy Alert service to contact and locate first aiders, as well as deploying the desktop version of the app, to deliver urgent messages to locations where mobile phone use is not permitted.