There are many different options when it come to communications. These are not for in the field communications which could be done with cell phone, Ham Radio, or CB but for actual in communications between the different positions in the search center.
- Runner – The old way, send someone with messages from one spot to the other as needed. It works, but you have to wait for your message to be delivered.
- Cell – Use calls or text messaging – Faster, but is one to one and not everyone will know what is currently going on.
- Skype – Many people use it, it is free, accessible and can be set up fairly easily. It has computer and mobile versions making it quite effective.
My solution? None of the above. We have actually begun to use a completely new system. We are now using Discord which is a free online server based solution that is used in the gaming community. It has many powerful features which can make it ideal for the search center operations.
Discord app for gamers (and DSP2.0!) This is a cloud-based communication service similar to Skype and Google Hangouts. It allows users to text and voice chat using a web interface, phone apps, or computer software. In a search, we may use our own server or quickly create and deploy one for the search operation.
- Can create a server quickly for any search operation
- Has voice and text chat capability
- No waiting to call, just drop into the voice room when you want
- Push-to-talk capable
- Desktop, and Mobile versions available
- You can have multiple channels of both text and voice
- Channels for Mapping, Operations, etc,
- Create a public channel for tips
- Search channel where active searchers can communicate back
- Very in depth user roles for security and identification
That is just a short list of some of the interesting features that could make Discord a great communications solution for search operations. If interested and planning to use the DSP 2.0 system we can work with you to get a server setup and ready for your needs.