Large Group Call-Out for Ground Search & Rescue

I have had a AsteriskNOW box running for a few weeks now and everything works good.

We want to use this system for a fast call-out system for our volunteer ground search and rescue group. I don’t know where to start with configuring this. We would like a system to dial a set max numbers all at once (depending on system speed, bandwidth and trunk used) with a recorded message (ex: search call info, or next meeting date/time) and prompt a member to confirm yes or no that they can make it and e-mail the confirmation to the head members and/or EMO.

Many members have multiple phones to call, right now it takes 4 head members (with different members numbers to call at the same time) to make calls almost an hour. We desperately need to reduce this time to under 20 min, the powers that be say that a phone service/system to do this is too costly and they wont pay for it. So we are on our own. I’m good with computers so I took on the task.

Any ideas how this can be done?

There is a comercial module avaiable from Our Sponsor, Schmooze. I find a free app from PIAF/nerdvittles:-

a better (and cheaper :wink: ) choice.

The key is having super reliability and the bandwidth to place the calls all at once. I would simply assign everyone an extension and let them use the find me follow me to load up the numbers. Join the extensions to a queue and you are off and running.

What you don’t want to do is run it on a local computer. You should host a virtual FreePBX with a provider the knows FreePBX.

Even at 6 calls being automated at once would be orders of magnatude faster than what we have now. what is a virtual PBX provider for nova scotia cost?
Would a IVR on outbound calls to get a response?

You won’t find one in Nova Scotia but it really does not matter the location.

Around $30/mo plus your outbound minutes.

The key is reliability. When hosted in the cloud you don’t have to worry about your Internet connection going down or the server breaking.

I don’t understand the last question.

Cost and speed are more inportant. Is not that critical as there is the old POTS system to fall back on (just much slower) and there are about 50 members total with only about 36 active regular members.

A hosted service like dial-them-all they were going to go with but it costs too much with the budget for the new bus they just got its just not possble, this is entirely out of my pocket and i have a small home business i want the system for anyways. This hopefully will be a case and point that we need the service once i get them use to the automated messages for meeetings then maybe for calls to a search after it proves itself. Many members feel we cant afford the cost and dont need it (the ones not making the calls on their phone) so it didnt get majority vote at the last meeting.

I like the idea of adding the members as extensions then the find me/follow me modules with a group dial. How would you set this up, record message and push it out, limit the calls out and is getting a response (yes/No) possible?

That is why I suggested a Queue. It can do the confirmation etc.

First, I need to say that I have been doing alerting for public safety for many years and maintain this as a service with various enterprise grade connections to Cellular providers and legacy Paging providers. Messaging will always be faster and cleaner when dealing with large groups. (

Second, you have two details to look at in a Telephone tree notification. Do you have the number of trunks available to make the desired outbound calls in a timely manner, this is where SIP Trunking excels. An that timely manner is a factor of calls to make * the length of the message.

Additionally, in a volunteer group you always need a way to track changes, and errors.

I would not look to Asterisk/FreePBX on any distro. I think that the Newfies solution is a much better fix for this mission. An can be placed behind an Asterisk server if needed for shared trunking.

Good Luck…

Phonebuff is the guy to listen to. I was trying to cobble something together within your resource constraints.

That is exactly what we are looking for and much, much more.
WoW thank you so much, cant wait to get it up and running.