TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Communities Using Reverse 911 to Notify Residents of Emergencies

Communities Using Reverse 911 to Notify Residents of Emergencies

Monty Solomon (
Sun, 27 Nov 2005 01:23:04 -0500

By David Tirrell-Wysocki, Associated Press Writer

CONCORD, N.H. --If this service had been available in 1775, Paul
Revere might not have had to make his famous ride. He could have had
the constabulary pick up their Colonial telephones, record "The
Regulars are coming!" and push a button.

It's called Reverse 911, and more and more New Hampshire communities
are using it to warn residents of everything from fugitives on the
loose to potential flooding or missing children.

"The uses are only limited by the creativity of the people using it,"
said Derry Fire Lt. Brett Scholbe.

Instead of making individual telephone calls or using a bullhorn or
public address speaker to warn of danger, a dispatcher records a short
message, tells a computer who needs to hear it and sends it on its

The system, which is growing in popularity nationwide, can make
hundreds of calls an hour, directed to specific neighborhoods,
downtown businesses, specified groups of people such as emergency
responders or an entire community.

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