French firefighters making the most of the BlackBerry solution

By James Richardson on 16 Jan 2013 01:01 pm EST

We have seen various emergency services using the BlackBerry solution over the years. We've covered a selection of police forces and health organisations and now it is time for the fire service to show off how they are utilizing BlackBerry as well. RIM UK has uploaded a video to their YouTube channel detailing how a fire department in Northern France have been getting on with the BlackBerry solution.

As well as a specially designed application for their use it is also interesting to see them making the most of possibly one of the main reasons we use BlackBerry - BBM. The fire department uses BBM to contact staff - both for on duty members and for re-calling off duty firefighters. And it makes perfect sense to me rather than relying of phone calls or pagers. As well as BBM messages being delivered pretty much instantly, most of the time, the fact that fire management can see when a message has been delivered and read is more than likely a big benefit to them.

In addition to the other reasons why they chose BlackBerry, such as security and fleet management, the department also uses Orange Maps as their satellite navigation software. The turn-by-turn software which is exclusive to Orange customers, has been around for some years now and although here in the UK it has always been a subscription service I would imagine that the firefighters get it for free as they do such an awesome job.

It's great to see yet another government agency getting on so well with the BlackBerry solution, both with smartphones and with PlayBooks, and reaping the benefits.

Reader comments

French firefighters making the most of the BlackBerry solution


Ever heard of something called a phone call?
Every single service goes down. Please tell me of a data service that never, ever goes down and is guaranteed to be up 100%.

the other methods such as phone calls or text msg are still available as backup. bb can do everything the other phones can do (in terms of contacting people in this situation), but with the addition of bbm.

As much as I like the idea, I have the same question as @KyonCoraeL. Again, I love my 9850 and my Playbook, but there have been several times when I've been waiting for my phone to unfreeze so I could type a BBM. On my Playbook lately, I've quite a few apps go blank on me and it froze the entire Playbook. Of course, a reboot fixed it, but during an emergency, that wouldn't cut it. I do hope they train for the "what if".....

I sure hope BB10 is more stable than it's predecessors.

How about Apple and Android solutions for communicaiton? They've been down many times versus BBM. The reason why agencies and major corperations use BBM is because of its security and speed of transmission.

Blackberry 10 based on QNX will prevent you from restarting your phone and/or Playbook due to its micro-kernal design. It's meant to not take down the entire system if something goes wrong.

A few times my Playbook browzer would crash (Searching on Google, I wonder?) and it quickly recovers without taking down the Playbook. And this isn't even 100% BB10 yet.

Odds are good that your freezes are caused by apps. I'm sure these guys have a BES that only installs critical, well-tested apps. There's a big difference between a consumer device and a corporately controlled (well-controlled, that is) device.

+1 couldn't agree more. I've owned BB devices connected to BES going on 8years now, can't remember the last time or ever for that matter seen BBM go down. It's possible but so is seeing aliens or the lockness monster.

You forgot about BES. Maybe you should rid some of those apps that are likely causing your blackberry to freeze up. I keep only the ones I use and scrap anything I don't use at all.

Aside from that, I do a regular db cleaning out to ensure crap isn't kept between flushings.

I am sure they are using a BES solution and not a BIS. Any outage that happened in the past always impacted BIS users if i recall correctly so chances of BBM going down is close to nil.

As for the freezes well my phone hardly freezes and i have many applications and considering these are issued phones (work only) i am sure the approved list of apps and used apps is limited.

Having BBM down is a low (but not zero) risk. A greater risk is the cell system being overloaded with all the phone users surrounding an emergency event sending photos and youtube clips to all their social media friends.

The advantage of using the BBM system is that first responders can readily contact each other ( police, fire, traffic control, emergency spill response, etc) and not have communication problems of radio frequency availability.

Its a matter of establishing procedures to understand the risks and minimize their impact.

lol, no :) And until then, I kept away commenting ;). But I must say French are very good in tech areas and soo bad with promotion; Never seen thin on a French channel/social/media. This is unbelievably cultural; we really need a Heins+Boulben team here.
Thanks BlackBerry UK !

P.S: got it finally on the French Channel :

Anything that brings more people into the Blackberry fold is always a plus.
Blackberry 10 is just around the corner!!!

LOL - a failsafe system that never goes down? that would be miraculous and put a lot of support staff out of jobs - no, the firefighting won't "stop" if BBM goes down. another LOL

in the time of your life, live so that in that good time, there should be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life that your life touches, seek goodness everywhere

WOW!!! Firefigthers in France are the sh*t!! Here in Colombia we're pretty much f*cked up in that area!!