PSECU Donates Satellite Phones to World Council
Phones will help Bahamian credit unions recovering from Hurricane Dorian
October 02, 2019
MADISON, Wis./HARRISBURG, Pa.—Recognizing that one phone call could save a life, PSECU, Pennsylvania’s anytime, anywhere digital credit union, donated a collection of satellite phones to World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU). The 25 Iridium 9505A devices, valued at approximately $12,000, are being repurposed by World Council's fundraising arm—Worldwide Foundation of Credit Unions—to support its global disaster recovery and development projects.
“As a digital-first credit union, we’re focused on harnessing technology to provide our more than 450,000 members with the best quality products and services possible. Staying at the forefront of advancements is an important part of this commitment, so we’re continually updating and replacing our resources and infrastructure,” said PSECU President George Rudolph. “While these satellite phones are no longer used by our organization, we know that they’d be valuable tools to support the World Council of Credit Unions’ life-saving disaster recovery and development projects around the world. We’re so pleased to be able to assist them in those efforts.”
The Iridium 9505A satellite phones are light and compact, water, dust, and shock-resistant communication devices that work on the Iridium network. They are data-capable, include two-way global SMS and 21 supported menu languages, can be used hands-free, and maintain approximately 30 hours of standby time/3.5 hours of talk time with each charge. Known for their durability and reliable coverage, the Iridium 9505A phone is implemented in rough conditions and times of crisis by emergency personnel, first responders, government agencies, and remote travelers across the globe.
Throughout its 85-year history, PSECU has focused on helping its members achieve a better life. This includes working with partner organizations, like WOCCU, that strive to advance the credit union movement and fulfill the needs of communities within Pennsylvania and beyond.
Worldwide Foundation sent some of the phones to the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions (CCCU), which delivered four of them to The Bahamas Cooperative League Ltd. last week. The Bahamian League distributed the phones to individual credit unions on Grand Bahama.
“Hurricane Dorian caused a lot of damage to credit unions in The Bahamas—specifically on the islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco. According to our members, much of the communications infrastructure on those islands has been destroyed. These phones will allow credit unions to communicate with staff throughout the recovery process,” said WOCCU President and CEO Brian Branch.
The donations come as the Worldwide Foundation implements its Project Storm Break response to Hurricane Dorian. The first disbursement of Project Storm Break funds came just days after Dorian to help credit unions provide members and staff with emergency supplies. The money will also help credit unions get back up and running so that members have access to their cash and financial services.
The Worldwide Foundation initially launched Project Storm Break at the 2019 World Credit Union Conference in The Bahamas to establish the forward-prepared fund to allow for an immediate response when natural disasters like Dorian strike.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 89 countries. Worldwide, 85,400 credit unions in 118 countries serve 274 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.