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Here’s What You Should Know

1. Traditional radio systems cannot overcome dead zones caused by thick school walls, tough terrain, bad weather, and building structures in general.

2. Dead zones pose major safety risks, preventing first responders from communicating effectively during emergency response.

3. Tango Tango kept the Aransas Pass Police Department in communication when police radios failed because of dead zones.

4. Tango Tango is your backup: The secure push-to-talk app breaks through dead zones using WiFi and cellular signals, allowing first responders to maintain contact even when their radios fail.

In emergency situations, communication is vital.

The ability of first responders to remain in contact is oftentimes hindered by their physical environment – thick school walls, tough terrain, weather, and building structures can create dead zones disrupting traditional radio communications.

The design of traditional radio systems makes it difficult for signals to penetrate the heavy steel and concrete of schools, hospitals, office buildings, and parking garages. Interference from other devices sharing frequencies can also weaken radio signals, presenting a major issue for first responders and handheld radio users across the nation.

No matter the circumstance, many handheld radio users, which include policemen, firefighters, school resource officers, and ambulance drivers, must charge ahead and complete the task at hand even when they encounter weak radio signals. This can pose a major threat to their ability to de-escalate tense situations and ensure the safety of both public citizens and first responders. Addressing weak or poor radio signal strength has become a top priority for many public safety departments and jurisdictions.

This was the case in Aransas Pass, Texas on November 2, 2021, when teachers at Aransas Pass High School were notified of a student armed with a gun on campus. When asked to submit to a thorough search, the student fled, and because the student could not be located, the entire school district went into lockdown.

Staff and police soon learned that there may have been one or two other students on campus armed with the gun originally seen by the first student. Over 100 officers from the Coastal Bend region responded.

Aransas Pass Chief Blanchard, on injured duty at the time, didn’t have his police radio when he rushed to the scene to guard the door and manage public information for parents. Assistant Chief Lynn Pearce’s radio could not penetrate the school walls, and Police Network Manager David Offalter was in the dispatch facility at the time when his console radio failed.

Fortunately, they had a backup: the police department was nearing the end of their free trial period with Tango Tango’s push-to-talk app, allowing Chief Blanchard to communicate with command teams inside the school using wi-fi and cell service. At the same time, Offalter used Tango Tango to dispatch over the radio system, ensuring the public safety response continued uninterrupted.

The suspect, who was in fact armed, fled to Corpus Christi, where he engaged CCPD officers in a shootout, ultimately losing his life.

In this situation, Tango Tango came through in three ways:

1. It allowed the commanding officer to communicate on his radio channel using his cell phone.

2. It allowed officers to continue communicating via WiFi and cellular signals after their radios were blocked due to dead zones

3. It provided a key redundancy when dispatch equipment failed, allowing the first responders to continue their work and communicate with their team.

“Tango Tango gives us the ability to leverage the tools everybody has. . . We always have a means to communicate more so than we ever did before.”

Eric Blanchard
Chief of Police | Aransas Pass Police Department, TX

Clear communication doesn’t have to have barriers. Tango Tango eliminates dead zones to better protect and serve. Contact Tango Tango today for a free trial.

For the complete story, listen to Assistant Chief Pearce recall how Tango Tango enabled the Aransas Pass Police Department to maintain communications when their radios failed during the search for a suspect of a gun threat at a local school.

Tango Tango allows your department to securely achieve direct communication with anyone, anywhere, anytime at an affordable cost.

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