New Australian public safety initiative “The Melbourne Shield” launches today


BlackBerry AtHoc and Briggs Communications announce new pilot to help Melbourne’s public venues and businesses protect people and share information during critical incidents

BlackBerry Ltd and Briggs Communications, a leading Australian crisis management specialist, have joined together to launch a pilot program called ‘The Melbourne Shield’. The secure, networked communications platform is being offered to help key organisations quickly connect with each other in the case of an incident, obtain and share factual information and help maintain business continuity.

The new initiative, combining Brigg’s crisis management expertise with industry-leading crisis communication software, BlackBerry AtHoc, invites any major organisation in Melbourne with a duty of care for people to join the pilot program.

The aim of the Melbourne Shield is to create a secured, connected community in both the private and public sector that can effectively communicate with other businesses, departments or personnel in real-time, should an incident take place. BlackBerry AtHoc is being offered as a shared solution between Melbourne Shield members, establishing a critical incident communication network which can connect places of mass gatherings such as stadiums, malls and convention centres, as well as infrastructure such as hotels, hospitals, schools, universities and businesses.

Ly Tran, Senior Vice-President at Blackberry AtHoc says, “Melbourne is a well-known cultural and sporting destination that hosts millions of people for its major events. Any city is vulnerable and in times of crisis, organisations need a way to get the right messages to their people. Whether it’s a fire alarm, a natural disaster or a terrorist incident, BlackBerry AtHoc offers a mass incident alerting and communication platform that can connect the city’s large public venues, businesses, emergency services and others, delivering trusted information to enable a coordinated response and informed safety-critical decisions.”

BlackBerry AtHoc is a trusted, secure and networked communications platform that helps businesses and governments protect the people they care about. Whether they are around the block or around the world, the solution gives any company or department the ability to communicate with their people through numerous devices and create permission-based networks to establish interoperable communication with other stakeholders in their community.

Allan Briggs, Managing Director at Briggs Communications says, “In the event of an incident when situations change quickly, fact-based information is limited. The Melbourne Shield sets out to help organisations share good intelligence among trusted individuals to enable better decisions. The platform is especially ideal for linking security and facilities managers responsible for critical decision-making. If they are located close to an incident or emergency, the members can share information between entities via BlackBerry AtHoc enabling interoperable, transparent incident management.”

During the pilot, each member of the Melbourne Shield will be provided with access to the BlackBerry AtHoc solution. Each member of the group is carefully vetted and usually includes a key decision-maker within an organisation who is responsible for the well-being of people on site.  In the event of any threat to public safety, a security or facilities manager will have the ability to distribute secured alerts and information to other members of the Melbourne Shield within minutes.

Ly Tran adds, “Thousands of organisations around the world trust Blackberry AtHoc for incident response management. Equipping Melbourne’s businesses and stadiums with the same critical communications technology as the US Departments of Homeland Security and Defense, Parliament of Canada, the UK Civil Nuclear Constabulary and institutions like Macquarie University in Sydney, can assist the city in managing potential threats or incidents.  We hope this example of true collaboration in Melbourne will serve as an example for other cities around the world looking for ways to protect its people.”

This announcement comes as BlackBerry announced in May that important new BlackBerry AtHoc features have become available in Australia and New Zealand to help account for people. AtHoc Account™ automates personnel accountability and crisis communication processes by providing safety and availability status updates of people before, during and after an event – ultimately providing the decision-making information leaders need for continuity of operations.

For more information on BlackBerry AtHoc visit:

Businesses in Melbourne are being invited to attend an event to announce the initiative on June 8. For more information on The Melbourne Shield please visit: