Suburban Chicago First Responders Use Zello to Sharpen Communications

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In March of 2020, Zello opened up its Zello for First Responders Program, which offers Zello to qualifying first responder organizations for free, worldwide. At about the same time, John McGehee, Vice President of Administration at Bud’s Ambulance Service | Daley’s Ambulance Service, was on the hunt for new communications solutions. His team, which is relied on as a critical healthcare source for over 110,000 Chicagoland residents in 12 municipalities, often moves through a densely built area.


Distance and urban terrain in the team’s service area interfere with the radio signal that the team relies on, seriously decreasing sound quality or dropping the signal altogether when inside buildings. When McGehee heard about the Zello for First Responders program, he signed up and began to roll Zello out to the team.

How Zello Helped

Since switching to Zello, McGehee and his team have seen significant improvements to sound quality and range. The team has also taken advantage of the Emergency Alert feature, which allows first responders to send a 10-second, automatically recorded audio clip to let dispatchers know they are in an emergency situation. Rather than placing phone calls, the team now communicates more fluidly with their Dolton Illinois main dispatch center via the Zello app.

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