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Don’t Miss Emergency Calls

There’s now an app for that

Certain radio personnel, especially broadcast engineers, find themselves on-duty effectively 24 hours a day.

Modern remote monitoring systems have made notification of emergencies more of an SMS-text messaging affair but there are still times when phone calls are needed. And in those times of need, what if the phone is turned off or out of range?

Now there’s an app for that. UrgentCall is an Android app and service, iPhone coming in mid-February, that uses a smartphone’s ability to bypass its silent/do not disturb modes when necessary (some emergency weather warnings also do this).

Users designate who (or what) may contact them and those designees are provided with a special phone number. Upon calling that number they are queried by an interactive menu to determine whether it really is an emergency call. If it is an emergency, the call will be passed forward and the phone will ring and display an emergency notification and the name of the caller on the smartphone screen. The phone will ring, getting progressively louder, until it is answered.

If the phone is completely off or away from a signal, the emergency call will be queued with the notification that an emergency has been missed. When the target phone is back on or within signal range it will begin to ring.

UrgentCall is a service that costs $2 per month with 10 minutes of emergency phone time. Additional time can be purchased.