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Critical Event Management platform launched in NSW

In Australia, the operator of the suburban passenger rail network serving the city of Sydney in New South Wales announced that it is deploying a safety, security and emergency management platform called CriticalArc’s SafeZone. The system will help mitigate risks to staff and customers and strengthen its capacity to respond to incidents and emergencies.

SafeZone will put up to 2,500 front-line staff at more than 175 stations directly in touch with security control room teams, letting them summon immediate assistance at the touch of a button and receive an optimised response via their assigned smartphone.

This will also provide the operator with real-time situational awareness and a more complete picture of critical events, supporting security management functions, such as sending targeted alerts to specific individuals and groups and enabling control room operators to pinpoint the location of individuals needing help.

Pushing CEM technology

The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention to the urgent need for better ways of handling crises particularly through the use of technology. This is where Critical Event Management comes in.

A critical event is a disruptive incident which poses serious risk or threat to assets or people. An effective Critical Event Management program and strategy is an integrated, end-to-end process that enables organisations to significantly speed up responses to critical events and improve outcomes by mitigating or eliminating the impact of a threat. An effective CEM system would mean that business continuity, disaster recovery, active assailant, emergency response, natural disaster, IT incident risk management, and mass notification would all be rolled up into an easy-to-execute, strategic plan with long-term benefits.

Everbridge is a US-based company that sells communications services for notifications of emergencies. In the current pandemic, the firm’s CEM solutions have been invaluable allies in protecting lives and ensuring the smooth operations in the stress-fuelled moments of responding to a crisis.

In June 2019, the Australian government tapped Everbridge, the global leader in critical event management (CEM), to support the delivery of the Emergency Alert Australia early warning system. In combination with Australia’s major telecommunications companies, the Everbridge Public Warning solution will be used to power Emergency Alert Australia, providing population-wide alerting to help reach the country’s over 25 million residents and approximately 9 million annual visitors.

If residing within an area where a sudden, critical event occurs such as fire, extreme weather or a terror attack, residents and visitors to Australia will receive location-based SMS notifications on their mobile phones, in addition to smartphone mobile app notifications and fixed-line voice alerts, among other modalities.

Everbridge Public Warning leverages existing telecom infrastructure, with no opt-in required, to reach everyone within a geographic area to reduce disaster risk, support first responder communications, and analyze disaster communication effectiveness for subsequent mitigation activities.

The Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Everbridge stated, “our Public Warning solution enables government organizations and public safety agencies to immediately connect with every person in an affected area during a critical event regardless of nationality, residency or mobile telephone handset type.”

He also noted that Australia has served as a model example for population-wide alerting and emergency preparedness over the past decade, and the firm was honoured to support them on the evolution of their national system.

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