St John Ambulance and Healthcare Services, New Zealand
St John is on the frontline of medical response, providing ambulance and healthcare services throughout New Zealand. St John provides emergency ambulance services to nearly 90%of New Zealanders, treating and transporting approximately 400,000 people every year.
They have more than 600 operational vehicles and 205 ambulance stations. On average, their vehicles travel more than 17 million kilometers annually to attend around 330,000 emergency incidents.
"Tait TeamPTT provides several benefits.It is not only a business continuity tool, it also enhances our radio capability by enabling communication across wide geographic areas, and within buildings. "
St John utilizes a nationwide analog LMR radio network provided by a commercial radio network provider, and ambulance stations and officers around the country are managed from three communications centers.
The network's backhaul is a mixture of fiber and microwave and connects the three communications centers to a conventional network formed by more than 165 repeater sites nationwide.
St John identified several regional groups where – if part of the network failed – the organization could potentially lose the ability to communicate with ambulance stations and staff in districts served by the cut-off repeater.
St John purchased Tait TeamPTT, a Push-To-Talk over Cellular (PTToC) solution to provide their operational and administrative staff with enhanced access to instant communication and information.
St John personnel use the Tait TeamPTT app on their Android and iOS smartphones to communicate over any available communications network, including LMR, cellular, and WiFi. Communications centers are also equipped with tablets as a back-up to the radio network.
The St John solution runs on a Tait Cloud-based multi-tenant server, housed in a secure high-availability data center. Customer peace of mind is further ensured by 24/7monitoring by Tait.
The Tait TeamPTT solution included donor radio installations at stations closest to each regional network. These donor radios and their connection to a Tait TeamPTT gateway provide a workaround in the event any part of the backhaul fails.
St John decided to add Tait TeamPTT to its national mobile radio system primarily because the service enhanced the robustness of the radio network’s backhaul. Another reason was the fact that Tait TeamPTT increases coverage and availability for all mission-critical users, and allows non-frontline staff to monitor and take part in emergency communications through their cell phones.
Tait TeamPTT is used by St John regional on-call managers to access communications on radio networks outside their immediate geographic area when they need to coordinate a response across a wide area outside their local LMR network.
St John also finds Tait TeamPTT useful at events where a number of staff are on duty. Event managers can use GPS tracking on the smartphone app to see the location of all St John staff and ensure the closest staff respond to any incident.
St John’s radio network is designed for mobile coverage, which means radio communication within a building is not always possible. In these cases, St John staff use the Tait TeamPTT app on their smartphones to get WiFi or cellular access to the LMR network.
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