From the A shot in the arm for Medlab South
Team Leader A medical pathology practice that needs mobile radio?
It’s something of an incongruous image – a doctor in
a white lab coat with a needle in one hand and a
David Ware ruggedised mobile radio in the other.
It’s almost Christmas already and the silly But it’s true. Medlab South Ltd have been using the
season seems to have started early this TeamTalk network in Christchurch for years. And our
year – if a glance at the politicians buzzing service is such a big part of their Christchurch operation
away in their hive is any indication. that they have just signed on for another three years.
Is it just me, or are they acting madder than usual at Medlab South has been providing pathology services to
the moment? All this talk about banning handheld cell doctors in the South Island for more than 50 years. As
phones while driving, fencing driveways, reducing speed part of the Sonic Health Care group, it now employs
limits on rural roads and implementing Kyoto with all around 300 staff testing patients in hospitals and the
its hidden costs for road users. Hopefully everyone will community, spread from Nelson to Bluff.
get this unnecessary excitement out of their system over Medlab South works with local GPs, specialist doctors,
a few festive beers and come to their senses in the New midwives and regional hospitals, taking and analysing
Year. thousands of specimens across the island every day.
They need to realise just how important our businesses It’s in metropolitan Christchurch that TeamTalk really
are to the country's welfare and stop making it harder comes to the aid of these needle-bearing types. Medlab
for us to do our jobs. But then again, perhaps that's a South has 16 cars on the road in Christchurch, with
bit much to ask for a Christmas present. seven mobile phlebotomists (people who take blood
And if mad politicians weren’t bad enough, we have had samples) and nine courier cars zipping about the place
a curious few months with the bird flu panic plastered picking up and dropping off samples and specimens
all over the media. Although we aren’t paranoid about between 7:30am and 8:30 pm each day.
these things, we do want you to know that we have a It’s a big job co-ordinating these vehicles between
plan in place, so that if some sort of pandemic does regular and urgent jobs and according to Heather Muir,
happen, we will be as ready as is possible to be. Services Manager at Medlab South, it wouldn’t be
Anyway, enough of my ranting – there are plenty of good possible without TeamTalk. “ We’ve been using mobile
things to get excited about, too. We’ve had a great year radio for years, and it’s absolutely essential to our
of consolidation and are continuing make sure our operation. We have two base radios, one for the day
networks work better and harder for you. shift and one for the evening shift, and between them,
they are making around 80 calls per day.”
A big thanks to all of you who came along to one of our
Targa events at the end of October. We had a great time “If we used cell phones, this would get incredibly
– even if our sponsored cars didn’t finish. But, hey, expensive and we would have no way of controlling
that’s racing for you, and at least they didn’t end up in private use of our communications tool. With TeamTalk,
the ditch like this Steve-Millen-wannabe! that’s guaranteed,” Heather said.
Have a great Christmas and a safe and prosperous So, next time you see a Medlab South car, don’t think
New Year. of frightening needles and hospitals, just give them
a toot and a wave because they are TeamTalkers, too!
Hotline 24 Hours: 0800 101 900
Radio-Controlled Jeremy need to get a job like this done. There’s a lot of
talent here at TeamTalk and it’s great working with
Want to know where the buck stops when it people of this calibre.”
comes to our network service? Meet Jeremy Jeremy obviously loves his job. “I really enjoy the
Simons, General Manager, Operations. He’s the coal-face customer interface we have here at
lucky bloke who has day-to-day responsibility TeamTalk - even in management. That’s the great
for all our networks across the country. In his thing about my job. When it comes to our network
words, his job is to “turn it on and make it go, service, the buck really stops at me. So if any of
whatever it takes.” our customers have an issue, or want to talk about
It’s a pretty big job, so we’d like you to get to know him how we can do the job better, they can
a little better – especially since he’s the chap to call when call or email me, any time.”
you want to curse (or praise) our service. When he’s not working on
Particularly good at changing his spots, Jeremy’s career improving our networks, Jeremy
has evolved through a variety of different industries. is into good food and good
Among other things, he’s been a civil engineering designer, wine and indulging his other
a contracts manager within the building industry, a project great passion, racing radio
manager working on high-voltage projects for the power controlled cars. He’s currently
industry, a patch manager for telecommunications contract working towards the world
giant Alstom and the NZ project director for NDC. championships, held in
Australia in 2006.
It’s this varied career that makes him the right guy to
manage our extensive national network. “Because of my You can contact Jeremy on 0800
diverse professional background, I’m able to view things 101 900 or via email at
from many different perspectives, and I’m not blinkered firstname.lastname@example.org.
into the traditional telco way of seeing
things,” said Jeremy. “I pride myself
in being able to build talented teams Did you know?
around me which is what you really A group call is a great way of keeping in touch with a number of people at exactly
the same time – it works a bit like a teleconference on a land line
but quicker. Group calls enable you to reach all radios in a particular
Upper Hutt Community area, and these groups are customisable according to your needs.
Rescue does it again! This service is available to all TeamTalk customers – for more
information, please call our helpdesk on 0800 101 900.
TeamTalk have been proud sponsors
of the Upper Hutt Community Rescue As if that wasn’t tricky enough, the couple of runners and
team for the past couple of years. course was open to the public, and the they relayed the info
Making our network available to them team had some trouble with kids to their next check
for training and incident management changing the course by moving track point. We were able
is a big part of our sponsorship – and markings. to get a description of
it’s what enables them to respond the runner and their
quickly in an emergency. Dave Butcher, who heads up the UHCR
team, said that the only way they could
The UHCR team are often involved in have managed this type of event was number, plus any
sporting events such as mountain bike to use group calls on the TeamTalk relevant medical
races and marathons (like the Karapoti network. “It was a two-day event with history from our
Classic, held in March annually). They three different races running on each base.”
are experienced in managing large day. TeamTalk’s group call function By using TeamTalk’s
groups of people in remote locations. was vital to the operation. Because we group call function
In the last weekend of October, they could all hear each call we made, we throughout this process, every UHCR
were out in force assisting with the were able to spot problems quickly and team member knew that a search had
management of the Outdoor Expo - a remedy the situation before anyone got begun and were able to provide
run/walk/ride event, held in the back- into serious trouble,” he said. assistance, as well as keeping the rest
blocks of Upper Hutt. of the races moving.
“An important responsibility for the
With no cellular coverage, and around day was keeping tabs on where each The runner was found unharmed about
300 participants on foot or on bikes of the Marathon runners were as they 6.5 kms off-course. Dave believes that
covering more than 70kms of road, the moved through the course. They were it was the group calls that really made
UHCR team mission was to provide quite spread out, so we used a group the difference. “If we relied on one-
first aid for the entrants and direct call to count them off as they passed to-one calls, we would not have known
them to the correct track. They were each of our stations,” said Dave. that this situation was developing so
also to provide communications so they “Between my site and the next quickly. This meant that we were
could keep track of the marathon developing a rescue plan before the
checkpoint, one of the runners took a
runners using the 42km bush course. wrong turn. This was witnessed by a runner even knew that they were lost!”