The South Walton Fire District’s Beach Safety Division has been a Sonim customer since 2019. The Beach Safety division was established in 2006 and services 11 Public Regional Beach Accesses across 26 miles of beach in Walton County, Florida. Currently, the Beach Safety Team consists of nine full-time command staff and 65 – 80 seasonal staff. In addition to Emergency Medical Services, the South Walton Beach Safety Division is constantly monitoring the water conditions and weather forecast to provide the most accurate and timely water and surf information possible.
In a dynamic outdoor environment, it’s crucial that lifeguards have reliable and durable communication. David Vaughan, South Walton Fire District’s Beach Safety Director, had repeatedly seen significant equipment failure in the saltwater environment that his team consistently operates in.
“Every other phone we had previously tried would go down within months of the first seasons use,” said Vaughan. “This was a major issue when it came to communication operations. We not only needed to find a lifeguard proof phone, but we also needed technological capabilities to gather and analyze data and provide real time communications with sophistication.”
As the EMS provider for South Walton County, the Beach Safety Division was also seeking a smart phone with EMS related GPS mapping that allowed them to effectively respond to emergencies in a timely manner; Push-to-Talk reliability; and volume and alert features for rescue and EMS incidents.
After speaking with an AT&T representative and conducting research on Sonim products across multiple departments, the Beach Safety Division decided on the Sonim XP8. “The XP8s have performed consistently for two full seasons,” said Vaughan. “The phones take a beating daily and have performed very well overall. We