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News

Organisation For The Homeless Protects Staff With Identicom

Connexion2 : 13 January, 2011  (Application Story)
Connexion2ís Identicom lone worker protection system is being used by Londonís YMCA for the protection of front line operators in the organisation for assisting homeless people in the city
London City YMCA is supporting frontline staff with the award winning, Identicom lone worker device as part of a lone worker solution from Connexion2.  Providing housing and support for young, single, homeless residents aged 16 to 25, can result in the hostel’s reception staff facing aggressive behaviour from residents from time to time whilst working alone.

 

Prior to choosing Identicom as part of a SoloProtect solution, City YMCA used a panic button system when incidents occurred but found that staff did not use it.  When Resident Development Manager, Sharon Harvey, joined City YMCA, she recommended Identicom to Director of Operations, John Faulkner as she had used it when working for her previous employer, a large UK Housing Association. Identicom is essentially a discreet communications device innovatively styled as an identity card holder to facilitate easy wear and use in the face of aggression.

 

Now, reception personnel wear the device whilst on duty and if there has been an incident during their shift they also wear the identity badge until they are safely at home so that should the episode escalate outside the building, they can press the red alert and obtain immediate support through the 24/7 direct link to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC).  Identicom has also been supplied to the residential team who have to evict residents.  Whilst the reception staff are not alone in the building as such, the HSE defines a lone worker as someone ‘without close or direct supervision’ and as the City YMCA building in Errol Street is large and should an incident occur it is unlikely that calls for help would be heard without assistance from Identicom.

 

“Connexion2’s fully managed SoloProtect solution satisfies our needs by providing us with a total solution package”, says Sharon Harvey.  “City YMCA provides a wide range of support services which can result in staff having to deal with difficult and aggressive behaviour from young people especially if they have been drinking.  As such, tricky situations may arise which can potentially put our employees at risk.  Identicom is simple to use and provides peace of mind knowing that they can open up a connection to the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) and can escalate the response which can involve the police if necessary”.

 

Key functions of Identicom include the ‘Status Check’, ‘Amber Alert’ and ‘Red Alert’. A status check allows a user to get feedback on battery life and GSM network signal strength. When an employee is doing something new or if they feel there is an apparent risk, they press the Amber Alert button on the product, providing important location information to SoloProtect’s Alarm Receiving Centre through a 15 second voice message. If the Red Alert function is used the centres’ support staff can assess what is happening and escalate in line with the level of support required.  All Red Alerts are also record the conversation for future action.
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