Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Unique 911 Callback System
There is an article on PrescottDailyCourier.com about a new 911 ‘callback’ system that was recently installed in the Yavapai County, AZ, Sherriff’s Office. Callback systems are a relatively new innovation allowing emergency centers to automatically call telephone customers in a designated area to communicate a recorded message notifying people of a local emergency. The new system in Yavapai County allows residents to add telephone numbers to the system for communications devices not tied to landline phones. Getting out timely information about actions to take in the event of an emergency is a key to reducing both confusion and casualties. The old emergency system notifications by radio and television were never really effective in contacting people and have become less so as the society becomes more mobile. The 911 callback systems increased the effectiveness of emergency communication because it caught many people who were at a fixed site but not listening to the radio or watching TV. This new system allows emergency notification to go out to people on the move by sending voice, text and email messages to cell phones, pagers, and even Blackberries. This system was installed in Arizona with a funding assist from a Homeland Security Grant. Communities with high risk chemical facilities or other high risk sites may want to investigate installing such a system.