Zello makes its push-to-talk service free to responders to improve COVID-19 assistance
Industry-leading walkie talkie app fosters communication among first responder teams.
AUSTIN, Texas — Zello, a push-to-talk voice messaging service that enables collaboration for workers and communities, today announces that its enterprise-grade solution is now available at no cost to first responders, anywhere in the world. Through its Zello for First Responder program, U.S.-based first responders were previously able to use the professional version of Zello for free. The Zello app is already localized in 22 languages and the program benefits now extend to any first responder organization in the world.
Zello has often emerged as a critical tool in times of crisis for coordinating preparedness and rescue efforts. The current Coronavirus pandemic is no exception. Zello has also mobilized staff to quickly handle the surging demand for the program. The company has in fact been receiving multiple applications per hour, an all-time high.
"As we watch COVID-19 unfold, we are anticipating strains on hospital and first responder systems,” said Bill Moore, CEO of Zello. “During this time, first responders and their supervisors need to communicate to a broader set of people who don’t have radios or radio coverage. As such, we've decided to open the program to all first responder organizations worldwide at an enterprise level, in an effort to help curb the strain on these systems."
In addition to the geographical coverage extension, the Zello for First Responder program now includes all enterprise-grade solutions, including location history for all users of the network, facilitated by Google Maps. Additional features include a searchable centralized archive of all communication and a new dispatch communication solution. Zello users can also send photos and messages to one another and to groups of up to 8,000 users, and can use it to share crucial information that, at times, can mean the difference between life and death.
“Zello is my team’s go-to resource for coordination in times of crisis,” said Captain Patrick Ryan, Maury County, Tennessee Fire Department, a participant in the Zello for First Responders program. “We live and work in a very rural area and use the app on a daily basis to coordinate operations for law enforcement as well as some local fire departments. The app is a great tool for agencies who operate on small budgets like ours. Were it not for Zello’s First Responder Program, we would not have access to this much-needed technology. Zello’s interoperability between different types of radio networks, including FirstNet, allows our departments to combine everyone’s radio channel onto one device.”
“Zello has greatly improved our team communications during critical situations like what we’re currently facing,” said Steve Castellano, IT Leader/Systems Technician with Delaware County, Pennsylvania Emergency Services, a participant in the Zello for First Responders program. “Without the app, we’d be facing major challenges being able to coordinate activities, set up call stations for informational purposes and staging areas for possible exposure, create Zello channels on-the-fly to support Covid operations, and reach folks beyond traditional radio coverage range. Every minute counts in the situations we face, which often require coordinating with emergency management personnel.Because it is cross-platform and carrier agnostic, Zello has given us a lifeline to extend our capabilities and organize our teams better than ever.”
Firefighters, EMS personnel, police, 911 dispatchers, search and rescue teams and others use Zello in both emergency situations and on a routine basis to overcome challenges associated with expensive, legacy radio technology. Now, even more groups responsible for handling emergencies will be able to use their everyday phones to gain easy access to crystal-clear, encrypted communication. Unlike radio, Zello works between jurisdictions and functions on any cellular network or WiFi connection (even in low bandwidth areas).
Many non-profit first responder organizations face budget constraints. Offering Zello’s enterprise-level solution to first responders removes one serious hurdle that currently limits what these organizations can do in times of urgent need. While first responders already rely on the free version of Zello, the enterprise-level version adds centralized organizational control and audit. This is crucial in the aftermath of a significant event.
If your organization is interested in the Zello for First Responders program, visit Zello First Responders to learn more and see if you qualify.
Zello is the leading push-to-talk service for communities and businesses worldwide. Millions of Zello workers and users communicate in real-time over any wireless or data network to share updates, connect in emergencies and solve problems. Founded in 2012 and recognized as one of Austin's Best Places to Work, Zello is privately-held and profitable. Current customers include the California Highway Patrol, fire departments around the country, and also corporate clients like Bechtel, Honda, Restoration Hardware, Starwood/Marriott, Waste Management and YRC Freight. To try Zello visit zello.com/try.