• Julie Foote
    Can anyone recommend a company that provides a good service when it comes to lone worker devices?

    We're keen to know more in regards to:
    • Self-triggering devices
    • Cell/Satellite options – a lot of our areas are out of cell phone coverage.
    • Do they have bridge like systems or is the device stand alone? Distance between bridge and personal device and number of personal devices per bridge.
    • Do they have a control centre that monitors 24hrs per day or would we have to manage this part ourselves?
    • Will it come with a portal that we can manage devices and peoples details ourselves?
    • Usage reports and alert reports.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  • Don Ramsay
    We use the devices provided by St Johns.
  • Matthew Bennett
    Hi @Julie Foote. This isn't something I deal with in my current role, however, was a significant issue in my past that I had to put considerable time into researching. I am also an active LandSAR member so see the use of sat phones, PLB, GPS Trackers and communicators, 2-way radio and cellphones in a variety of settings.

    There are three components to the system (probably overly simplified):
    • The network (i.e. cellphone provider, satellite provider, radio channel and repeater service). The extent of coverage and information capability (analogue vs. digital, txt, voice, data) will be primarily determined by this.
    • The Service provider - they give you access to the network and also dictate the portal, or way you access and interface with the system. How a worker reports activity, how managers have oversight and receive and respond to a notification. They will generally offer you the hardware (some will support hardware you've purchase elsewhere, however it will need to be configured to their system). They are also who you pay..
    • The hardware i.e. what device you use. This will include such features as being a stand-alone device, self-triggering capability, and ability to bridge with other devices - such as blue toothing with a cellphone for improved txt messaging and address books.

    There were a lot of players offering services in the field, however I found a large number of them over sold the capability of their system as being able to meet my (the businesses) needs. Two stood out:
    • Datacom - they had incredible technological capability. It was truly impressive.
    • Track Me (https://trackme.nz/) - this is who we went with. Tony Glentworth provided outstanding service and customer interface and really went out of his way to understand our needs and ensure we understood how to use and get the most out of the system. We didn't require person-down / self-triggering devices, however he was able to supply such devices.

    There is big talk coming from One.NZ and their partnership with Starlink and also the SOS satellite capability of the new iPhone 14's. The analysis that I've seen of these so far is that they won't be making huge impact to the remote areas for quite sometime still.
  • Mandy Gudgeon
    Hello Julie, for our remote and after-hours nurses, we use a Twigg Watch https://www.twigcom.com/.
    These are GPS capable and linked to a security company so monitored 24/7. If the nurse is concerned, she can discretely push a button and use our safe word NORA (need officer right away) which the security company can hear. In situations where we expect safety is a potential risk at the home, security guards stay at the front door of the home.
    For our new fleet cars, we are looking at GPS capability installed in them.
    Good luck Julie, it is a mine field out there.
  • Christina Carroll
    Hi Julie,
    We use Get Home Safe app. The corporate version allows an adminstrator to add/remove people and set escalation functions. They can live track where a person is. There is an emergency alert button. We use it for field trips, community visits etc.

  • Garth
    Petra Håkansson/CEO
    M: (+64) 21 191 6024
    P: (+64) 9 480 0860
    PO Box 301763, Albany, Auckland 0752

  • Margaret
    I second Petra at Guardian Angel. There are alot of products on the market that are not fit for purpose and don’t add value. Petra will help you identify what you need
  • Kip Mandeno
    Hi @Julie Foote, Similar comments and background to @Matthew Bennett, recently we have been using a Zoleo www.zoleo.com device its not a monitoring device and is similar to an Garmin Inreach but has a better app interface so chatting to staff in the field is easy. Like all of these devices it does have a SOS function. Ours has all the senior managers numbers in the "check in function" so everyone is aware of an OK worker or one in distress at the same time. I find the key issue is not so much knowing a worker is out there and whether they are standing up and moving or its a "man down" event but enabling them to communicate easily with the office when things are a bit wrong and they need support, and this maybe from project to people. The Zoleo device has its own dedicated aussie cell number, works on wireless & satellite so largely will work anywhere and their new service is being able to text a worldwide medical network for advice which is pretty impressive. So this is a good a manual manage it your self option for a few devices when you take them because you need them option.
  • Janene Magson
    Hi - love to see all the tools provided to staff to keep them safe. I am attending training with our district nurses end of this month so that I can be sure that what we currently have(and is not being used) is what supports our staff when needed. One must also understand that any app used has a raft of information that supports it, for example: is only the 24hour service contacted, does a manager also get informed, how this done, are the contact numbers kept up to date or are we contacting a former employee who has left the business(happened when I worked for Corrections as HS Regional advisor), creating a safety awareness culture. GPS tracking, is it only available when requested, or do managers have access? Do our staff understand that it is used purely for their safety and not as a micro management tool, do our managers understand that this is safety tool and not a micro management tool, etc etc etc I am glad to be involved with this and to see what can be done to keep our staff in the community safe :)
  • Petra Hakansson
    Hi Julie. We are hardware agnostic and know most of the solutions in the market. We have two options for out of cell cover (and you can use a mix depending on the risk profile of the user/team). Blackline Safety G7X is one. the other is Garmin devices on Everywhere Communications. Everywhere has a companion app to make the user experience intuitive, and intelligent routing (wifie, cellular, iridium) and also geo fencing and automated welfare checks plus a stand alone app for staff in cell cover. We are the only company in NZ and Australia with API integrations with both suppliers direct to our monitoring station in NZ (no reliance on sms or email which is not safe). Our trainers and support are our own team in NZ. I'm more than happy to have a chat to give you some guidance or put you in touch with some of our customers, and we have a buyers guide available for download on our website. www.guardianangelsafety.co
  • Petra Hakansson
    Yes it is a minefield! I agree. Just remember that GPS is location. Not communication. You still need a network to carry the location update and messages including SOS to a platform and monitoring provider. It's a common assumption that because you have "GPS" in a vehicle, you'll know where your people are. This is only true if the solution is fitted with an iridium comms modem. If it's cell network reliant, it will give you "last known" location, and when the vehicle is back in cell cover, it will download the historical "breadcrumb trail" but it's not live. Happy to provide assistance if you would like to chat through it. . When Gabrielle hit the Hawkes Bay, our solutions on iridium were a lifeline for our clients. Some of our clients (waka Kotahi, Worksafe NZ, Hawkes Bay Regional Council and WSP) all participated in a post cyclone working group to help create a special report on what worked and what did not. The report has just in the last few days been released. If you would like a copy flick me an email and I will send it to you. Cheers
  • Petra Hakansson
    Hi Matthew. Yes I agree. the Starlink option will not replace the need for business applications for a long time yet. Cell phones will not be able to manage tracking / location updates due to battery life and you also won't have all the safety features such as geo fencing and welfare checks with monitoring. They make it sound good though!
  • ScottyE
    Hi Julie, we're using GetHomeSafe with their app alongside Garmin Inreach devices (for when staff are out of coverage).
    Our staff have found the interface simple to use, andtheir dashboard is easy to manage. I am also looking into their v.bttn devices for use on our sites (linked through the app).
    They have an option for motion-monitoring (can turn it off to save battery life if not needed) through the app, and the devices swap between the inreach and the users phone depending on coverage. We have on-call staff to monitor check-ins, and chase up overdue staff - but in an emergency it goes straight to RCCNZ. There are also messaging options through the dashboard to the device in the field.
    The dashboard allows simple management of who has access and there are various useage reports as well.
    They have been great to deal with and are actively updating the software and adding more options. They have also been responsive to suggestions for changes to improve the software.
    Overall, I'm pretty happy with them!
  • Rachel Thompson
    Hi Julie, we use Blackline safety devices G7x and G7c for our various sites.
    We have 20 devices in total and we have these at our main processing site as well as spread across nine remote areas of the Marlborough sounds, Golden Bay and Canterbury. We have Wi-Fi at these sites using star link (if required) so we only need three bridges for areas that have patchy Wi-Fi available. We currently only run two devices max per bridge. These are monitored remotely by Direct Safety who contact the device /wearer directly if the device has no movement after the specified time. If they need to be serviced or firmware updated the units / bridges have to be sent to their base in Auckland.
    We are happy with the units and the service we receive and Direct Safety are easy to contact for anything we need.
  • Shannon
    Hi all, a mate of mine who is a hunter, suggests the InReach Mini. It has texting ability and costs $25 per month. It is a bit bigger than a match box. Is customisable. He said to hunt around re cost, he got his for around $600 on Torpedo seven.
  • Bevan Johnstone
    When I was with a District Council in Hawke's Bay I determined we needed a satellite solution due to the poor coverage in our vast district. We ended up going with the Blackline G7x satellite option for our field based teams (roading, waters, animal control, building inspection teams etc) and G7c (cellular) for our static teams who have mobile reception. Of the available providers in NZ I selected Guardian Angel as they were the better supplier re points of failure on monitoring and notifications.

    I had great onboarding experience, excellent customer service from them, an awesome response when I had a fault with one unit - overall really awesome and super keen to give you the advice you need to get the best for your people.
  • Andrew

    Slightly off topic - but we should also think about our own personal safety. I spend a fair bit of time in , well lets call them dodgy places

    I don't go out without this Rescue Me PLB on my person. If I end up in trouble a rescue helicopter will get to within 5m. It will also track my moving body so if I get washed away I'll still be found. Only takes one hand to operate and I figure should I ever need to use it, provided I'm conscious I should be able to get it to work.

    And I also carry a small 2,000 lumen torch with strobe. Night vision googles will pretty much pick me up from one side of the island to the other.

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