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.