New Emergency Notification Service Coming to Northborough

The town plans to use CodeRED.

CodeRED, a new emergency notification system, will be implemented in Northborough starting on July 1, according to Town Administrator John Coderre. 

Because of a discounted proposal brokered by Northborough, surrounding communities are able to be included in the same system at a discounted cost. Both Westborough and Southborough will also be using CodeRED.

"If approved in the FY2014 budget, the service would begin effective July 1," said Coderre. I envision having CodeRED into an upcoming board meeting to go over the functionality of the system."

Westborough will save about $2,500 on a new emergency notification system because Northborough and Southborough plan to use the same product, Westborough Town Manager Jim Malloy says.

CodeRED will be available to the three communities for a discounted price, $8,500, “and that will be the price going into the future,” Malloy told selectmen recently.

Last month, Malloy told selectmen that he budgeted about $11,000 to provide "the same, but better" emergency notification service as Reverse 911 when that ends in July.

Another benefit from using CodeRED is “then every community abutting us, and Westborough, would all be on the same system,” Malloy told selectmen this past week.

CodeRED’s local representative Pete Applegarth described the service:
"The CodeRED system, a service of Emergency Communications Network, was designed specifically to enable local government officials to record, send and track personalized voice, email and text messages to thousands of citizens in minutes. The notification solution is utilized by public safety officials representing all 50 states, as well as Canada."

In Massachusetts, ECN services more than 160 communities and six counties representing nearly 50 percent of the states overall population.  In Worcester County CodeRED is used in Shrewsbury, Holden, Auburn, Grafton, Hopedale, Upton, Northbridge, Dudley, Oxford, Hardwick, West Boylston, Ashburnham, Templeton, Westminster, Winchendon, Sterling, Lancaster and Blackstone.  

"We have also successfully aided in the recovery of 50 missing persons across the state," said Applegarth.



Postman February 22, 2013 at 11:59 AM
We'll see. This is the same system that was used in Colorado to alert folks to evacuate when the wildfires got too close. The problem was people kept hanging up before the message was pronounced. The weren't evacuated and died. The reason some people kept hanging up is because they said the message didn't start for almost 8 seconds. Think about that, how many people would stay on the phone for 8 seconds of silence. Not many. I imagine they are working the "bugs" out, but don't always jump for the new tech. because the police say it's good. I'm curious what the "tracking" aspect is all about. I like the sending part for emergencies, but what's the tracking do?
PREDATOR February 22, 2013 at 01:02 PM
It is only a good deal if you NEED IT? Was this question asked?
PREDATOR February 22, 2013 at 02:27 PM
I suggest that it is not needed. Follow biden's advice.....when you need help....grab your double barrel shotgun....go out on your balcony (because we all have one of those).....and fire off a few "blasts" (which is illegal). All set!
Emergency Communications Network February 22, 2013 at 03:18 PM
Postman - The "tracking" part means notification analysis for Northborough. The CodeRED system has actually replaced the notification system that was used in Colorado last year during the wildfires. Our system has advanced technology that detects when the call is answered live or by an answering device, and there is no delay once the system recognizes the response on the other end of the line. -Emergency Communications Network
Peter Applegarth February 22, 2013 at 03:26 PM
@Postman - CodeRED replaced that system in Colorado! Here's a link to the story naming FirstCall Network Inc. as the provider - http://www.denverpost.com/investigations/ci_20823408/flaws-hobble-patchwork-reverse-911-systems-across-colorado
Christine Thompson February 22, 2013 at 09:13 PM
This system will be extremely helpful for those with hearing loss and have trrouble hearing on the telephone/cellphone. The use of email and or text will be very helpful in getting notifications ans this should ease the anxiety of people with hearing loss; knowing that they will get such information from local town officials,police and fire. I , for one, am happy to hear about this.


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