Flight Vector simplifies operations for modern communication centers like emergency medical service. They use Plivo to make sure alerts are delivered and lives are saved.
Primarily serving the emergency medical market, Flight Vector provides dispatch and mapping solutions to clients such as Classic Air Medical, MedFlight, and Lifeteam. From start to finish, the Flight Vector system enables an emergency communication center to input the data required to start a transport, notify crew members using SMS, track a helicopter during transport on a map system, and send data files to the charting and billing companies that need details about the transport.
With the Flight Call app, users can communicate with the dispatch center via SMS for the request of a helicopter and receive status updates regarding the request. Much like Uber allows a user to see a car en route, Flight Vector enables a dispatcher using the app to see where a helicopter is at all times, and to direct where the helicopter should land. For example, if there’s a multicar accident on the corner of two streets but buildings make it difficult for a helicopter to land, a dispatcher can view the Flight Vector Map, pick out a better location, and then send the GPS coordinates via SMS to both the communication center and the pilot.
Replacing outdated communications
Before implementing SMS, Flight Vector used outdated alphanumeric pagers and email to communicate emergency response information. With the ubiquity of mobile phones, SMS offered not only more competitive, state-of-the-art technology, but also the ability to connect helicopter dispatch to emergency situations in real time. But the path to SMS had its own turbulence — until they discovered Plivo.
“Prior to Plivo, we used another vendor, and we had two problems,” says Scot Cromer, CEO, Flight Vector.
Confirmations were a big issue and, for emergency responders, a blocked SMS can mean a life-or-death situation.”
When Flight Vector switched to Plivo’s SMS API, they were able to get confirmation for delivery and nondelivery rates, insights into before-and-after situations to track responses, and the ability to gauge the effectiveness of the service. They found not only a perfect technology fit, but also a company committed to their success.
“Plivo helped us tremendously with our challenges by being very proactive,” Cromer says. “The service reports are very informative. The check-ins let us know that we’re a valued partner, and that really makes us feel good about our decision to use Plivo.”
Selecting the right SMS
When it comes to sending SMS messages, businesses have several number options: long code, toll-free, and short code. For Flight Vector, Plivo’s toll-free option was the obvious choice.
“It’s great because you can receive confirmation that messages were sent,” Cromer says. “This is important in a mission-critical environment like ours. You need something that provides a summary of the entire event, and you can get that with toll-free SMS.”
Now, most if not all of Flight Vector’s messages are sent and received via SMS. Their customers can set up predefined message templates, and their system will automatically send the information via SMS. According to Cromer, it’s much more efficient to text than it is to place a call because of the time sensitivity of emergency situations and the need to eliminate extra calls to already busy communication centers.
“Plivo continues to do a great job,” Cromer says. “They provide us with a stable platform.”
In the end, Flight Vector sees SMS as the only way to go for fast, reliable, and accessible communications, no matter the industry.
“SMS is the future,” Cromer says. “If you don’t provide a texting solution, you’re going to be left behind. Companies need to take advantage of it, and an easy way to do that is with Plivo.”