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Royal Flying Doctor Service

Royal Flying Doctor Service

The furthest corner. The finest care.

Royal Flying Doctor Service - Call RecordingOnce acknowledged by former Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies as “perhaps the single greatest contribution to the effective settlement of the far distant country that we have witnessed in our time”, the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) has been a proud Australian icon since its first flight took to the air in 1928.

The RFDS motto ‘The furthest corner. The finest care.’ speaks volumes for the integrity and importance of this invaluable health service to Australia’s far-flung, remote communities. With a fleet of over 75 aircraft equipped with the very latest in navigation technology, the RFDS operates 23 air bases across Australia. Backed by a team of pilots, doctors and flight nurses who are responsible for helping over 1,000 patients per day, operating and maintaining effective communications links is a vital element of the RFDS operation. CallTech is proud to have played its small part in maintaining this vital communications link.

Red Box recorders to the Rescue!

The Issue

People in remote areas of Western Australia seeking medical advice or assistance contact the RFDS 1800 emergency number. An emergency call centre operator will help the caller or transfer them to the mobile phone of a rostered doctor if further assistance is required.

A system was required to record all calls to the RFDS emergency call centre including the transfers to mobile phones of rostered doctors. All other (non-emergency) RFDS calls would need to be ignored or discarded by the recorder so there are no privacy concerns.

Previously, only the emergency call centre telephones were being recorded. Once a call had been transferred off to a doctor’s mobile telephone that conversation could not be recorded as it was no longer in the call centre.

The Solution

CallTech was engaged to develop a solution that would record all RFDS emergency calls, including those to doctors’ mobile phones without capturing any of the non-emergency calls. The solution was a Red Box Recorder with the ability to record all telephone lines connected to the RFDS building but it would only keep the emergency recordings.

To ensure only emergency telephone calls were being recorded, CallTech developed a custom application to talk to the Red Box software. This application contains a list of the emergency telephone numbers. If a call is made to or from a number in that list, the application tells the recorder to keep recording. If the number is not in the list, the application tells the recorder to discard it.

The result was that all relevant calls to doctors on the team were now automatically identified, recorded and logged onto an easily accessible and secure permanent archive system.

Initially this was recording old style physical telephone lines coming into the RFDS building. In keeping up with modern technology, RFDS has since moved to VoIP/SIP (Voice over IP) trunk lines. The Red Box recorder was easily reconfigured to capture these external VoIP calls. The recorder continues to capture all required external calls and the additional custom software is no longer needed. This makes the Red Box solution simpler and more reliable than ever.

In addition to telephone calls this Red Box Recorder also records radio transmissions between pilots and RFDS bases across Western Australia. All of the radio transmissions and telephone calls are presented to the recorder as VoIP streams now. This means the Red Box Recorder can be provided as a virtual machine making it a cheaper solution that is easier to manage and maintain. In fact, RFDS has since added a secondary Red Box recorder to their network running as a virtual machine in a data centre. This highlights the versatility and reliability of the Red Box recording product.

Just another reason why you can count on CallTech.