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HipLink Critical in Maintaining Public Safety for Army Chemical Waste Facility

HipLink messaging software was the missing piece dispatchers in Tooele County, Utah needed to quickly disseminate text messages to first responders and agency personnel who rely on smartphones and cell phones. “Tooele County is unique,” says Lieutenant Regina Campbell, Communications Officer for Tooele County. “We are home to a large government facility, the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal facility at the U.S. Army Deseret Chemical Depot.”

Previously, dispatchers struggled to reach first responders, consuming valuable time and often failing to reach them in critical situations. But with HipLink in place, dispatchers can now automate the process of sending of outbound messages with virtual certainty of reaching the appropriate first responder.

 "To say we rely heavily on HipLink is an understatement,” says Lt. Campbell. “HipLink’s Grouping feature is great. We segment individuals by their group membership and roles. If we need to send a message to a specific firefighter team, we simply create the message, select the group name, and send the message. It’s that easy, that fast, and very reliable. ”Campbell adds, “We also have the ability to send two-way messages when we require a person or group of people to acknowledge receipt of our message and respond with a return message. HipLink is so flexible that we can set up pre-configured responses that allow the receiver to simply key in a number for the selected response.”

Because HipLink is an Internet-based application, a text message can be quickly created and sent from any Internet-connected device. Because the individual’s device type, phone number, and carrier are already entered into the system, the sender does not have to look up those details. The HipLink user simply types the message, selects the group(s) to receive the message, and hits the Send button.

Lieutenant Campbell points to a number of ways HipLink has been put to good use. Due to funding difficulties, one smaller fire department could provide radio pagers to only 8 of its 15 members. Now, all members can be reached because they can receive text message dispatches on their personal devices.

“Using HipLink for text messaging has significantly reduced the number of callbacks the dispatchers receive with radio voice communication,” said Campbell. “Text messaging can be used to clarify the what, when, and where questions that are always asked. We’ve been able reduce the number of follow-up communications. Additionally, because the first responders have the text, they can review it repeatedly as necessary.”

Keeping pace with new challenges
The Deseret Chemical Depot is one of five facilities that store and dispose of chemical weapons. A high degree of communication between the federal, state, and local agencies (including the Tooele County first responders) is mandatory due to the volatility of the chemicals.

“Tooele County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center has to communicate with over 400 first responders in addition to representatives in over 40 different agencies. This is no small task considering the dispatch team is Campbell and fourteen dispatchers. Timely communications with constituents is a constant battle and was even more difficult in the past without the right technology and tools.

“Many people do not realize how many moving parts there are when responding to any incident in the County,” says Campbell. “When a call comes in, it’s quickly evaluated in terms of severity, location, and the type of response required. Then we must quickly communicate with the right responders in the field.

We service not only the fire, law enforcement, and EMS for the county, but also search and rescue, public works, state parks, and other federal, state, and local agencies. Agencies within Tooele County pay dispatching fees to get quick dispatch to their first responders every hour of the day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year. With our small staff and limited budget, we decided to seek tools to make our communication process more effective and to keep pace with the growth.”

“We like HipLink so much that no one would be able to take it away from us now,” Campbell continues. “We’ve received such tremendous value and HipLink Software’s technical support team has been just awesome. When we first started using HipLink, dispatchers were delivering messages with SMTP to Sprint devices. Sprint made changes to the protocol and suddenly all the messages were truncated. The HipLink team had an immediate solution to switch over to SNPP, which offered us much faster, more reliable service. The HipLink technical support engineers were right on top of this situation. HipLink was so easy to set up and the training was excellent, everyone picked it up immediately.”

HipLink, in partnership with AT&T, is a premier SaaS provider of mobility solutions serving both Mobile Health Care and Public Safety. With unparalleled leadership, patented technology, an impressive track record and extensive customer base, HipLink dedicates itself to the needs of its customers. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, HipLink excels at delivering innovative solutions designed to meet the unique and ever-changing needs of demanding customers.

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