SA Government dumps alert app

Wednesday, 10 January, 2018

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The South Australian Government has announced that the state’s emergency services agencies will stop using the Alert SA app as a method of providing public notifications about emergency incidents.

On Saturday — a day of catastrophic fire danger in a number of districts around the state — the Alert SA app, provided by Victorian company Ripe Intelligence, failed to provide updates on bushfire information.

Emergency Services Minister Chris Picton met with the CEO of Ripe Intelligence on Monday; however, the Minister and SAFECOM were not provided with adequate assurance by the company that another failure would not happen in the future.

Minister Picton said that based on this and advice taken from emergency services, the state government will not renew the contract with Ripe Intelligence, which expires in June.

“[The] outage of the Alert SA app was a disgrace — on the day when South Australians faced the worst fire danger conditions seen in years, the Alert SA app needed to perform and it didn’t,” the Minister said.

“I am not satisfied, after meeting with Ripe Intelligence, that the failure experienced yesterday won’t be repeated and I and our emergency services have lost confidence in this app to provide the 99.9% reliability as is stipulated in our contract,” the Minister added.

“We therefore ask South Australians to not rely on the Alert SA app and utilise our traditional sources of information including the CFS website, emergency services social media pages, the Emergency Alert system, the Bushfire Information Hotline and ABC radio alerts through a battery-powered radio.”

Minister Picton said the state’s traditional emergency information providers including the CFS website, social media, ABC radio alerts, the Bushfire Information hotline and the national Emergency Alert system all functioned well on Saturday and South Australians should continue to seek updates from these multiple sources of information in the event of an emergency.

The state government will now work on a new mobile solution that will be controlled by emergency services and be focused on robustness.

Image credit: © Images

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