We have an older analog radio system in the church that security, children’s, Campus ops and Worship all use to communicate during the services. They are looking to replace that system and digital radios, walkie talkie apps, and Teams walkie talkie have come up for possible solutions. Just came out of a meeting and thought I would ask what other churches are using for behind the scenes communications?
You might want to look at Unity Intercom. You could play the sermon feed to their phones and the walkie talkie could override it. Neat, but pricey.
If you want emergency communications, a radio is hard to beat. In a large-scale disaster or emergency, the cellular networks will become congested. During a power outage, your wifi will be unavailable. When panicking, the PTT button is much easier to use than any smartphone app, as fine motor skills are diminished.
We like the Retevis RT22 UHF 2 watt radio. It is cheap, small, programmable, and simple to use. It accepts the 2-pin headsets, has 16 channels, is programmable (CHIRP via USB), and can scan. Emergencies aren’t the place for high-tech solutions that depend on infrastructure that might be down.
We augment the radios with GroupMe, to repeat key information (for those not on radio) and to send text and pictures (missing person, situation reports, suspicious persons, maps). GroupMe is super simple and can go to text messages if a person doesn’t install the app.