KSDK -- Director of Public Safety Mark James applauded the outstanding cooperation from Research In Motion (RIM) with Missouri’s emergency response community. RIM postponed a scheduled 4 hour BlackBerry Database upgrade for all North American subscribers from early Saturday morning, until a future date. Several flooding rivers in the St. Louis and eastern Missouri are scheduled to be at their record peak at the same time of the scheduled outage. Many first responders and emergency management officials who are feverishly working to protect citizens from the record flooding rely on their "BlackBerry" devices for critical communications. Missouri Homeland Security officials requested RIM to postpone the scheduled outage late Friday afternoon.
"RIM officials recognized the criticality of reliable and redundant communications for our first responders in an ongoing emergency, and didn’t hesitate to cooperate in putting the upgrade off until Missouri’s crisis passes. For this, I am extremely thankful," James said.
Susan Green, Emergency Manager for Jefferson County, one of the areas affected by the flooding, echoed the director's concern for the first responders needing communication, stating: "Even though we have multipliable communication systems for redundancy, many of our people in harms way rely heavily on things like text messages and E-mails to
communicate key information between themselves and other officials. In times of emergencies, it is reassuring that our private partners are willing to do the right thing in support of the first responders who are willing to put their lives on the line for all of us."