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How to Use Text Message Dispatch in an Emergency

Industries
Emergency Communications, Emergency Planning, Emergency Operations Centers (EOC)

Tools
Recall

3 min read

In an emergency, it is important that the managing team is able to dispatch team members to deal with the situation as quickly and as efficiently as possible. The more ways the team can reach out to responders, the better. This includes text message dispatch.

Text message dispatch is an easy way to reach potential responders, as most of us already have our phones on us at all times anyways. Using text messaging, or SMS, in addition to other common methods of recalling responders, such as email and phone calls, is beneficial because sometimes these other methods may fail to connect with responders in time. Emails may not be checked regularly and phones may be on silent mode resulting in missed calls.

With text message dispatching, however, the responder call-out message will show up and be available to the responder as soon as they look at their phone. Right away they will know what the situation is and any pertinent details. No need for them to call their voicemail and waste valuable minutes.

How does text message dispatch work?

First off, if an emergency management organization is dispatching responders manually or through a system that can only send messages over one channel of communication at a time – they are at a severe disadvantage. As was mentioned earlier, the more channels that can be leveraged simultaneously to send out call-outs to responders, the more efficient the emergency response is going to be.

If the emergency management team has a system to allow them to send bulk SMS messages to their responders, as well as email and phone call messages, then the first thing they must do when a need to dispatch responders arises is to create the message that will be sent out over all these communication channels.

When using text messaging for the dispatch message, it is important to remember that most providers only allow for a set number of characters per text message. Once a message exceeds that number, it will have to be split up and set via multiple text messages, which can pose a few issues – such as the texts coming in out of order, as well as the incurring of additional charges.

Once the emergency team has created the dispatch message and have checked how many text messages will have to be sent in order to display the entire message, depending on the dispatching system they can then specify what types of responders they will need to recruit to deal with the emergency. For example, in the case of a motor vehicle collision, the emergency management officials may want to specify the need for a certain number of paramedics and/or firefighters to attend the scene. The ability to specify the type and number of responders required ensures the response will not only be efficient but that an excessive number of responders is not sent to the scene of the accident.

SimplyCast has a text message dispatch application

Is your emergency management organization looking for a tool that can send dispatch messages to responders through text messages as well as other channels of communication? SimplyCast’s Recall tool can fit the bill. Developed as part of SimplyCast’s suite of emergency communication tools, Recall allows organizations to create dispatch messages to be sent through email, text message, and phone calls all in a single interface, which can make emergency response efforts more efficient and effective.

Recall allows dispatch message creators to specify exactly what type of responders are required to deal with a particular emergency as well a minimum or a maximum number of each type. When a set maximum number of responders has been attained for a responder type, the system can automatically close the response intake for that specific responder type, meaning that any responders who respond after the closure will receive a follow-up message saying they are not needed to respond at this time.

Ready to try text message dispatch?

If you or your emergency management organization is looking for a new dispatching tool with the ability to leverage text messaging as a sending option, be sure to check out Recall. Recall can be used as a standalone application but can also be used in tandem with the other emergency communication tools provided by SimplyCast.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us today!

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