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CodeRED study is under way

By Staff | May 29, 2008

CodeRED® sounds like something Tom Clancy would author.

Actually it is a high-speed outbound notification system with the capability of placing 60,000 calls per hour in times of natural disasters, gas leaks, bomb threats, shooting situations, weather alerts, missing children, missing Alzheimer’s patients, and any other emergency situation in which the public needs to be alerted quickly.

Emmet County Sheriff Larry Lamack called the meeting with first responders Tuesday afternoon for a conference call/computer demonstration with Brian Choyka of the Emergency Communications Network in Ormond, Fla.

The sheriff believes there is a need for an emergency notification system that is more than just sirens. “We need to quickly alert.”

The best feature is that no new equipment has to be purchased should the decision be made to sign on with the new system.

The total cost for Emmet County would be $7,500, a figure based on the county’s current population of 11,027. Choyka said that amount would never rise, has no hidden costs and would remain the same as long as the contract was in effect.

Local first responders learned CodeRED® is being used in Urbandale, Clive, West Des Moines, and the counties of Linn, Lee, Louisa, Henry, Keokuk and Van Buren. New sign-ons include Jefferson and Dubuque counties.

The system maintains a 160,000,000 name national calling database, including land lines, cell phones and other numbers not available to the general public. It uses a unique Internet mapping capacity for calls sent to specific geographic areas.

Pre-recorded emergency messages are delivered directly to homes and businesses (including land lines, cell phones and answering machines) at a rate of 1,000 calls per minute.

The county would receive five user names and pass codes and a total of 18,750 minutes annually.

From this point, first responders will take time to research funding sources and specifically determine which entities should be privileged to use the system if the purchase is completed.