Nashua-based Ping4Inc. awarded contract with DHS
Mobile communications company will provide platform for first responders in flood conditions
Nashua-based mobile communications company Ping4Inc. has been awarded a development contract with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate to assist first responders in flooding conditions.
As part of the agreement, Ping4 will deliver a geographically precise communications platform that will enable instant notification to first responders about rapidly changing flood conditions.
The platform will send location-specific alerts to first responders’ mobile devices in hopes it will prompt immediate action to reduce flood fatalities and property losses. By leveraging the location-based features of smartphones, referred to as geofencing, Ping4 can enable alerts to focus on areas as targeted as a single building, a section of a city, a stretch of highway or an area along an irregular border of the river. The messages will include any combination of text, images, audio and video, making it easier to share potentially life-saving information, says the company.
“After heat, floods are the leading cause of weather fatalities in the United States,” said Dan Cotter, director of the First Responders Group, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, referencing National Weather Service statistics. “Last year the National Weather Service reported 176 lives were lost due to floods. We are working with Ping4 to get better flood event information out to our first responders in time to make a difference and reduce the number of lives lost from floods each year. Ping4 brings technology to both geo-target alerts and leverage rich-media that can help make this happen.”
“Emergency alerts are critical to keeping people safe. But if you send mass smartphone alerts to people who aren’t directly impacted, they’ll quickly get desensitized to these critical communications,” said Jim Bender, CEO, Ping4. “That’s why Ping4’s unique solution—using granular, location-specific technology to alert only people who are in the geo-targeted area of the incident—is so effective. It’s also why public safety agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, and long-standing customers such as the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, are using Ping4. We make it easy to instantly send rich-media alerts based only on the relevance and location of mobile devices.”
Since 2011, Ping44 has developed and deployed its “ping4alerts!” platform, which is used by multiple states and municipalities throughout the U.S. and globally, says the company.