Alcorn 911 gets ready for new system

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

CORINTH – Alcorn County residents could begin receiving a telephone call to their homes or text messages on their cell phones to alert them about emergency situations.
The county 911 office will implement a new communications system on a six-month free trial that has “cutting-edge” capabilities, said 911 Director Teresa Burns. It will improve notifications to first responders and confirmation to the 911 office that the messages were received.
She recommended the county use Global Connect Emergency Notification System of Mays Landing, N.J., for its expanded capabilities and lower cost, after researching several companies which offer similar services.
“When we send out notifications to first responders their responses to 911 will be visible to dispatchers,” Burns said. “We won’t have to wonder if they got the message or not.”
The system also can be expanded to include the sheriff’s office and any other county departments that need to send out messages.
One example, she said, was a recent water main break in District 2 Supervisor Jeff Patterson’s district where residents on the affected roads could have received a telephone call notifying them of the problem.
The system is entirely Internet-based, so no equipment investment is needed. Also, individuals and households will be able to sign up on the Internet for specific messages they want to receive, such as severe weather alerts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The supervisors approved the free trial Monday. The county assumes no obligation beyond the six-month trial unless it wants a longer-term contract.
After the free trial, the additional six months to complete the first year would cost $4,368, and the second and third years of the contract would be at $8,335 per year.
If the contract is extended beyond the trial, payment will be from the 911 office approved budget.

Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.