BlackBerry AtHoc and Briggs Communication launch “The Melbourne Shield”


In Australia, Briggs Communications has partnered with BlackBerry’s AtHoc to launch a mass incident alerting and communication solution for Melbourne’s major venues and organisations; enabling them to communicate during a critical incident affecting the city.

The Melbourne Shield uses AtHoc, BlackBerry’s Crisis Alerting software, to connect Melbourne’s major venues and organisations in an exclusive critical incident network – immediately alerting key personnel when a major incident occurs and enabling them to communicate with their counterparts at other organisations; coordinating the city’s response.

The new initiative, combining Brigg’s crisis management expertise with industry-leading crisis communication software, BlackBerry AtHoc, invites any major organisation in Melbourne with a duty of care for people to join the pilot program.

The aim of the Melbourne Shield is to create a secured, connected community in both the private and public sector that can effectively communicate with other businesses, departments or personnel in real-time, should an incident take place.

BlackBerry AtHoc is being offered as a shared solution between Melbourne Shield members, establishing a critical incident communication network which can connect places of mass gatherings such as stadiums, malls and convention centres, as well as infrastructure such as hotels, hospitals, schools, universities and businesses.

Collaboration, resource sharing and two-way communication will be a necessity for responding to contemporary and future risks. An instant and credible communication channel between Melbourne’s major organisations will drastically increase the efficiency and efficacy of the city’s response to critical incidents.

Ly Tran, Senior Vice-President at Blackberry AtHoc said,

“Melbourne is a well-known cultural and sporting destination that hosts millions of people for its major events. Any city is vulnerable and in times of crisis, organisations need a way to get the right messages to their people. Whether it’s a fire alarm, a natural disaster or a terrorist incident, BlackBerry AtHoc offers a mass incident alerting and communication platform that can connect the city’s large public venues, businesses, emergency services and others, delivering trusted information to enable a coordinated response and informed safety-critical decisions.”

Allan Briggs, Managing Director at Briggs Communications said,

“In the event of an incident when situations change quickly, fact-based information is limited. The Melbourne Shield sets out to help organisations share good intelligence among trusted individuals to enable better decisions. The platform is especially ideal for linking security and facilities managers responsible for critical decision-making. If they are located close to an incident or emergency, the members can share information between entities via BlackBerry AtHoc enabling interoperable, transparent incident management.”

During the pilot, each member of the Melbourne Shield will be provided with access to the BlackBerry AtHoc solution. Each member of the group is carefully vetted and usually includes a key decision-maker within an organisation who is responsible for the well-being of people on site.

In the event of any threat to public safety, a security or facilities manager will have the ability to distribute secured alerts and information to other members of the Melbourne Shield within minutes.

Ly Tran added,

“Thousands of organisations around the world trust Blackberry AtHoc for incident response management. Equipping Melbourne’s businesses and stadiums with the same critical communications technology as the US Departments of Homeland Security and Defense, Parliament of Canada, the UK Civil Nuclear Constabulary and institutions like Macquarie University in Sydney, can assist the city in managing potential threats or incidents.  We hope this example of true collaboration in Melbourne will serve as an example for other cities around the world looking for ways to protect its people.”

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