The QuickCheck New Jersey Festival of Ballooning is one of the biggest events of the year in the Garden State and is the largest summertime hot air balloon festival in North America. Upwards of 165,000 people came to Solberg Airport in Readington New Jersey to enjoy the concerts, food, fireworks and up to 100 special hot air balloons throughout the weekend of July 27-29.
Such a large festival certainly requires a large staff of emergency responders. Zak Harabedian, Twiage’s Head of Customer Success, led a team of 40 Whitehouse Rescue Squad EMTs in learning how to implement Twiage for use during their shifts at the festival.
Twiage was a helpful tool to ensure proper communication and coordination between all emergency care responders. At the festival, EMTs used many different types of EMS units throughout the entire airport, including bikes, ATVs and ambulances. Parts of the festival were so loud and congested making it difficult to hear and transmit on two-way radios. Instead, staff used FirstNet phones provided by AT&T, which give priority and preemption to first responders during congested times. FirstNet ensures first responders are able to transit information over their network during times of crisis or busy cell network times. With Twiage, a few pushes on the phone application could relay emergency and patient information and share the exact GPS location of where units were in field. Twiage also customized their platform to the event, creating the ability for dispatchers to send notifications out to all the first responders covering the event which included missing children, EMS dispatches and important event updates. Dispatchers were also able to send photos, maps and different media files to the units in the field. This gave first responders the ability to see photos of missing children, EMS units an exact GPS location of the incident and a secured texting platform that encrypted all messages. Once EMS units in the field made contact with a patient, they were able to provide critical updates about the patient and securely transmit patient information back to the EMS treatment area. Several key locations were provided with these cell phones and the Twiage app, so command personnel were able to disseminate the information to the police department and other officials seamlessly.
Chief Jeff Herzog of the Whitehouse Rescue Squad said “Together, Twiage and AT&T FirstNet provided an invaluable solution to help us manage the pre-hospital care at an event with a mass amount of people”.