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Emergency calls

The emergency call feature is integrated into any mobile client and can be useful in emergency situations. Emergency calls do not require acceptance by the operator. They get through automatically to allow the user to talk straight away without any delay. This feature is designed for immediate interaction with the operator of a command and control centers (who are normally T.Rodon users). When an emergency call is in progress, T.Flex sounds an appropriate emergency audio signal and gets an emergency message with GPS coordinates (if GPS is enabled on the caller device).

The emergency message is highlighted red. All emergency messages contain the reason that caused the emergency, and it is logged in the emergency journal.

There are a variety of situations that qualify as emergencies: simple emergency (SOS) call, zone statuses (if a zone is empty, if a user goes in or out, if a user connects or disconnects, if a user stays in the zone for a certain time), and so on.

All emergency messages appear in the emergency journal, which can be enabled or disabled by the administrator in T.Commander, no matter what caused the emergencies. However, only emergency messages from regular emergency calls (made by tapping Emergency Call) are duplicated in the root channel.

When an emergency call is started, T.Rodon can toggle a distress sound on the caller device.

When an emergency call is completed, the user is transferred in the default group predetermined for the user.

There are a few emergency-related options that an administrator may configure for users in T.Commander, listed below. You cannot change these options in T.Flex.

  • Prevent stop emergency

If this is enabled, you cannot stop an emergency call once you have initiated it. To finish the emergency call in this case:

  1. Tap and hold in the screen to suspend the emergency call.
  2. Wait for the T.Rodon operator to confirm the call end. (T.Rodon shows a confirmation prompt that has to be closed.)
  • Mute outgoing emergency

Mutes the sound of the emergency popup that appears when the user sends an emergency.

  • Max emergency volume

Maximizes the volume for an outgoing emergency when the user sends it.

Making emergency calls

You can make an emergency call in the following two ways:

  • By tapping the Emergency symbol on the PTT screen
  • By opening the Emergency tab in the main menu and holding the Emergency symbol

In either case, you get a popup that says "Click to Cancel Emergency Call" and shows a countdown. This helps prevent false emergencies started by mistake. If you tap the popup before the end of the countdown, the emergency call is cancelled. If the countdown completes uninterrupted, the emergency call starts and the emergency message is sent.

PTT hold timeout specifics:

Administrative configuration may define a PTT hold timeout for your user account, where you are allowed to hold the floor for no longer than a specified time and PTT is automatically released for you when the time limit is hit. This feature works in some situations but not in others – it is applicable where there is a PTT queue (floor control).
In emergency calls, the timeout works only after the emergency PTT timeout ends.

Important:

Use emergency calls only for emergency reasons; do not abuse the feature where a direct call would suffice. Emergency calls are intended for users who are in need of urgent assistance. In addition, emergency calls affect the performance of T.Rodon and T.Flex more than other types of call do.
The TASSTA development and marketing teams accept no liability for any loss or damage by malfunction or misuse. Users need to ensure that their emergency calls sent to T.Rodon by T.Flex can be received by the monitoring administrator.
Before production use, do a coverage network test and physical test of the device, including moving it from one site to another. The monitoring administrator must ensure that their supervised users follow very strict operating instructions. The users and the monitoring administrator should be aware that they cannot rely fully and solely on this product to ensure their safety and security; they can only use this product as an auxiliary, supplemental aid to assist them in knowing the user is in need of assistance.

Deferred emergency

In poor connectivity conditions, it is especially important that your emergency state is signaled and your emergency call comes through whenever the connection to the server is up. The deferred emergency mechanism is used in situations like the following:

  • An emergency is triggered while connection is lost
    T.Flex waits until the connection is restored to send the emergency alert and start the emergency call
  • An emergency is triggered, but then connection is lost before the emergency call can be started
    T.Flex waits until the connection is restored to start the emergency call
  • An emergency is triggered and an emergency call is started, but then connection is lost mid-call
    T.Flex waits until the connection is restored and starts a new emergency call

In all of those cases, the emergency notifications received by other users indicate that the emergency had to be deferred.

Note:

If an emergency is triggered and then cancelled while there is no connection, then the emergency is not started when the connection is restored. The exception is Battery Alarm, which is triggered every time a failed connection is restored.

Covert emergency

Covert emergency is a mode for when you need to keep your emergency state unnoticed by people around you. During a covert emergency call, the on-screen indication is the same as for a regular group call. Users who receive your emergency call see standard emergency notifications. Whether your emergencies are regular or covert is configured by the administrator in T.Commander.

To start a covert emergency call, use one of the ways listed in Making emergency calls.

To end a covert emergency call, do one of the following:

  • Press and hold the hardware SOS key on a connected accessory.
  • Go to the group list and change your group. Leaving your emergency group ends the call if other users have already left it.
  • Contact the dispatcher to dismiss the call from T.Rodon.

Hidden emergency countdown

If an emergency countdown is set by the administrator, the emergency call starts after the specified timeout has elapsed.

Until the timeout has elapsed, both on-screen and hardware push-to-talk buttons will continue to function normally (for making standard PTT calls) and the user can switch T.Flex screens.

Unlike standard emergency calls, there is no on-screen countdown to cancel the covert emergency and no audio alert. The only indication that an emergency has been initiated is the disappearance of the Emergency icon from the screen.

Once the emergency call is ended, the Emergency icon re-appears on T.Flex screens and the original channel name is displayed in the header and on the PTT button.

Warning:

Since there is no visual indication of the covert emergency countdown, this countdown can only be cancelled using a hardware SOS button on a connected accessory.

Communicating

Once the emergency call is started, a dynamic channel called Emergency <number>: <user> is created and the user is automatically switched to it.

The emergency (blinking red) screen is not shown and the user can freely switch between T.Flex screens.

While the emergency call is in progress, the Emergency icon is not displayed on T.Flex screens.

PTT timeout for covert emergencies

If the administrator has set the emergency PTT timeout for you to 0 (unlimited), you can talk indefinitely without holding the PTT button until the emergency call is ended.

If the emergency PTT timeout is limited to a certain number of seconds, you can talk without holding the PTT button until the timeout expires. After that, you need to tap and hold the button to continue talking (as with standard PTT calls).

If you tap the PTT button before the emergency PTT timeout expires, it automatically releases the floor regardless of the emergency PTT timeout setting. After that, you need to tap and hold the button to continue talking (as with standard PTT calls).

Whether or not you have the floor, you remain in your emergency channel until you end the call.

Covert video emergency

If the administrator has enabled video emergency for you, the voice call is replaced by a video transmission from the default (front) device camera.

The video is transmitted all the time until the emergency call is ended, regardless of the PTT button state and emergency PTT timeout.

During covert video emergency, the standard interface is shown, and you can freely switch app screens.

A covert video emergency call is ended in the same way as a voice emergency call.

Emergency screen during covert emergency

While covert emergency is active, the text "HOLD TO START EMERGENCY CALL" is displayed as if the emergency call has not started. However, tapping and holding the screen is disabled.

Emergency channel

Important:

Although visual and audible signs of a covert emergency are minimal, there is still a way to tell an emergency call was made. The name of the active channel can be a giveaway.

An emergency call operates in a dedicated dynamic channel called Emergency <number>: <initiator>. The name of this channel will replace the original channel name in the header and (if enabled by the administrator) on the PTT button.

Workaround:

If the administrator disables the display of the channel name on the PTT button for you, this prevents the telltale emergency channel name from appearing on the PTT button.

Unlike standard emergency calls, the channel and the user names on the PTT button during covert emergency are displayed in the default color instead of red.

Emergency channel will also be displayed in the group list.

Covert emergency calls in history

If you have access to call history, information about the covert emergency call is available on the History screen:

  • Emergency channel name
  • Call type (exclamation mark icon)
  • Call date and time
  • Recorded call with playback functionality (if recording is enabled)
Workaround:

To prevent attackers and aggressors from gaining access to this information, an administrator should disable access to activity history for you.

Voice and video from other covert emergency call participants

The voice responses from other call participants are played on the covert emergency initiator's device, as in standard PTT calls, even if the device is in loudspeaker mode.

Video from other participants is not shown to the call initiator during covert video emergency.