Mobile access control for Sea Rescue

1 December 2019 Access Control & Identity Management

Sea Rescue is a charity staffed by volunteers who are on call, day and night, throughout the year. The organisation has rescue bases along the coast and on inland dams. Its goal is to prevent drowning through education, preventative measures and rescue operations. Sea Rescue has been in operation since 1967.

The members of Sea Rescue continually update and improve their skills and techniques, and the organisation continuously investigates new technologies.

Dean Wegerle, a Sea Rescue volunteer, explains that the organisation’s existing access control system was extremely outdated and unstable; furthermore spares and tags were not available for the old technology. When looking for a replacement system, the choice of access control is made more complex in this environment because, as a volunteer rescue service, the crew (who all volunteer) do not always have their access tags on hand, which can cause delays getting into the base when on a call out.

Wegerle was tasked by the station commander at the V&A; Waterfront station in Cape Town to find a mobile access solution with the option of backup tags. The system should also provide the freedom to control access for all coxswains, crew and trainees, with separate access groups and time zones.

The organisation was advised that SALTO Systems would meet its needs and Instruman offered to sponsor the installation of the hardware and basic set-up. On looking into the solution SALTO offered, Wegerle says the choice was clear as the system had a proven track record and sold itself.

Instruman therefore installed four SALTO XS4 controllers and readers to work in conjunction with SALTO’s JustIn Mobile app for Sea Rescue, allowing access to the 50 active crew through their mobile phones. The system allows the organisation to grant access to all crew and trainee crews, each with their own restrictions. It also provides an easy way to manage access levels on a user-friendly web platform that updates keys on members’ phones effortlessly.

Wegerle says the support from SALTO was extremely helpful in ensuring the correct product was specified. It provided for a seamless upgrade from the old system, with all requirements being met. “The new system exceeds all expectations and is very user friendly for the end user to manage compared to traditional access control systems in South Africa,” Wegerle concludes.


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