Beaver First Nationskeeps community informed amid COVID-19 pandemic with a 24-hour Update Line
As of Friday, March 27, 2020, Beaver First Nation has decided to launch a 24-hour Update Line to help keep elders and vulnerable individuals informed during the COVID-19 crisis. This hotline will act as a hub of information and instructions for community members as they navigate through the ever-changing circumstances brought on by this pandemic.
“We want to make sure that members, especially our elders who are at the most risk from the virus, can get information instantly and simply, in their indigenous language”, said Trevor Mecredi, Chief Beaver First Nation.
Members are working with The CommAlert Group, an established emergency communications company, to set up the Update Line. This hotline will give community members immediate access to the most up to date information when they need it, in their indigenous language. “It is essential for the safety of the community to have instant access to information during this crisis,” said Tim Carwell, member of the Beaver First Nation and President of The CommAlert Group.
Initially, The CommAlert Group’s trained call centre agents will take the calls. Beaver First Nation will recruit members from the community to man the Update Line. The members will be trained by CommAlert, virtually through video conferencing and similar technology, to eliminate the risk of spreading COVID-19. Once the volunteers take over the incoming calls, CommAlert’s agents will work alongside the volunteer group to provide instruction and on-going support.
“It’s important that members of the local community are answering the calls. Local knowledge, an understanding of the language, and that sense of community are essential for moving through a crisis like this one,” said Carwell. “Our top priority is the safety of this community, and it’s members. That starts with having the right information.”
CommAlert will continue to work alongside Beaver First Nation and the Update Line volunteers throughout the crisis. Information will be regularly updated as it happens, ensuring the volunteers have access to the information they need to assist callers. The CommAlert call centre agents will be available 24-hours a day to help the Update Line volunteers, providing support, feedback, on-going skill development training, and roster scheduling.