Federal Signal unveils public-safety suite
Federal Signal’s Safety and Security Systems Group announced a suite of interoperability systems that support public emergency-warning systems as well as first-responder mobile data applications.
Mike Wons, vice president and general manager of the company’s public safety systems unit, said the suite includes multiple components—the combination of which lets public safety agencies alert, notify and communicate with citizens and other first responders during emergency situations. One component is the SmartMSG alert system that was developed originally by Codespear, which Federal Signal acquired 18 months ago. The alert system is a layer of software that can be embedded into devices and supports interoperability so first responders can communicate, he said.
Wons said alerts could be sent in multiple ways—either through voice, text or instant messaging—to hand-helds, landline devices or e-mail accounts. The messages are not solely dependent on the cellular network, as the company uses satellite and IP networks to transmit the alerts. However, Federal Signal is working with AT&T Mobility regarding ways to use the SmartMSG system to connect telephone, wireless, pager, two-way radio and other communications.
“It is a fail-safe way to make sure the message gets out,” Wons said. “And we will tell you if the message got out and what device it was received on.”
Another component of the suite is the VelocityMDS, an in-vehicle mobile data software system that connects directly to an emergency operations center. The software works on multiple platforms, such as Panasonic Toughbooks and hand-held devices running a Windows mobile platform.
The suite starts at $5000, Wons said.