February 11, 2021
The Bridge 4 Public Safety (Bridge4PS) community of emergency responders announces a new and improved service available exclusively for public safety as the free, secure alternative to messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal. Thousands of users from nearly 400 agencies across the country use Bridge4PS as a replacement for text messaging and consumer-grade apps. Emergency responders are using Bridge4PS to send tens of thousands of messages, pictures, files, and videos each month conducting their missions of saving lives and protecting property. In addition to daily operations, Bridge4PS is being used heavily for incident response for hurricanes, wildland fires, civil unrest, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Inglewood, CA Police Chief Mark Fronterotta says “As a founding member of the DHS Mobility Acceleration Coalition, we’ve been actively involved with this project for nearly 3 years. It is great to see the work of our department and the other participating agencies result in a secure messaging platform built exclusively for public safety and designed from the ground up to meet our requirements – especially interoperability and high availability. The launch of Bridge4PS Pro is a great advancement. It allows our officers to have upgraded functionality while still allowing us to share information with other responders on free tier accounts. This model offers the flexibility to ensure the system is both accessible and affordable.”
According to Tommy Calabro, SWAT Sergeant with the Houston Police Department, “Not only do we use Bridge4PS every day, but it is a critical tool for all of our major operations. We don’t have any other apps that allow us to seamlessly share information across our own teams and with our partner agencies. We’ve used other free apps in the past, but we can’t scale our groups dynamically without knowing every officer’s contact information. With the Bridge4PS directory, we can invite any user into our groups. And since it works on any device or network, we’re able to include our Command Post personnel as well. It’s great for linking users on different cell networks and even our city offices. Unlike other apps that require paid licenses, any law enforcement officer can register for a basic account and be up and running in minutes. This is critical during large, dynamic operations.”
Jason Ghorbani, Battalion Chief with the Los Angeles County Fire Department said that “Bridge4PS provides the critical elements needed in a secure messaging service for our emergency responders. First, only authorized users are allowed so we know everyone in the app is a vetted emergency responder. Second, the user directory allows us to easily connect with users locally, across our state, and even the country. We can build collaboration channels where we share information in real-time.”
Niki Papazoglakis, Founder & CEO of Mobility 4 Public Safety, the company that operates Bridge4PS, said, “With the recent events at the capital, it’s clear that consumer messaging and collaboration platforms are not the right place for emergency responders. In 2018, we were awarded a DHS grant to advance mobile app interoperability. It became clear very quickly that the public safety community needed a secure, mission critical, messaging and collaboration platform that was open to all members. We built Bridge4PS to fill this void. With the launch of Bridge4PS Pro, we now have given agencies a free option and a premium service.”
Bob Plaschke, Board Advisor says “Many emergency responders use free, consumer messaging apps because of the lack of a viable alternative. This is becoming increasingly problematic, not only because of many known security vulnerabilities, but also because laws and regulations around transparency, privacy, and protected information are becoming more and more complex. We’re seeing officers getting in trouble for using apps like Signal with end-to-end encryption. That’s great for individual privacy but often violates rules for government communications. Bridge4PS was built to meet the security, reliability, availability, and interoperability requirements of our emergency responders. I’m very excited to see Bridge4PS being deployed on FirstNet. It’s a perfect combination.”
Public safety practitioners can request account access at https://access.bridge4ps.com to join the growing community of users Bridging Public Safety Communications.