Emergency Notification System
What is an Emergency Notification System?
Emergency Notification Systems, or ENS, are systems to provide mass notification of residents in the event of an emergency. In Palos Heights we have chosen to use the Emergency Communications Network, Inc. CodeRED system as a means to notify residents by phone.
What should I do if I receive a CodeRED message?
If you receive a CodeRED message, listen carefully. The message will be brief and not repeated. Follow the instructions given. You may be directed to a commercial TV or radio station for further information. Do not hang up until you have heard the entire message. You may miss important information. Do not call 9-1-1 for further information unless directed to do so. You will only tie up the emergency lines.
What does a CodeRED message sound like?
The message is normally recorded by a detective. It is a true recorded message and not computer generated. The message will always begin with a statement that This is the City of Palos Heights Police, Fire, City Hall or Public Works department. They will then state if the call is an emergency or non-emergency situation.
The text of the message and further instructions would follow. The messages will generally be brief and if further instructions are necessary, you may be directed to turn to a commercial radio or TV station.
How does CodeRED work?
CodeRED is a telephone notification system that can dial up to 60,000 phones an hour and deliver a recorded message. The detective division can use a digital map online to define an area that requires a message and CodeRED will automatically target all of the phone numbers in that defined area for the emergency message. When the detective initiates the notification, the recorded message is “blasted” to all the phones in the defined area in a very brief period. Busy numbers will be redialed a preset number of times. CodeRED also has the ability to store predefined lists of names and phone numbers that can be activated for specific notifications.
Although CodeRED can leave a message on a telephone answering instrument you may not receive the message because of noise levels on the recorder and the length of the prerecorded message.
How does CodeRED determine what phone numbers to dial?
Southwest Central Dispatch (SWCD) has the authority to use confidential 9-1-1 telephone numbers for emergency ENS calls. SWCD also purchased listed phone numbers from a commercial database. If you have caller ID CodeRED will displays the following number: 999-911-9999.
Why you may not receive a message?
If a person utilizes cell phones, voice over IP or any other type of service not associated with normal landline telephone service, their phone will not be in the database. If a business has multiple telephone numbers associated with their business they may not be contacted.
A privacy manager service will defeat the system.
If you are uncertain or desire additional numbers to be notified, you should access: http://www.southwestcentral911.org/ click on the CodeRED link. If you do not have access to the Internet you can call our station at: 708-448-5060.
What are some of the uses for CodeRed?
The primary use of CodeRed is to notify county residents of an immediate emergency. It can be used to define an area for evacuation or ‘shelter in place’ notifications for incidents such as a hazardous material spill or major gas leak. It can also be used to direct residents to a specific TV or Radio station for further important details and instructions. It may alert residents to shelters during weather or power emergencies. CodeRed can also be used to alert a neighborhood to watch for a lost child, an impaired individual who has walked away, or dangerous individuals that may be in the area.
Can CodeRed be used for non-emergency or urgent messages?
Yes. Using the list feature, the Police Department may wish to use it to notify on-call employees very quickly and notify specialized officers in case of a large-scale emergency. The department can create lists of emergency responders and use CodeRed as a backup to the normal emergency notification process.
Who pays for CodeRed?
The Board of Directors of Southwest Central Dispatch (SWCD) has agreed that SWCD would be the contracting agency and that SWCD would assume the cost for emergency notifications. The City of Palos Heights may use CodeRed for non-emergency notifications and would reimburse SWCD for the cost of the activation.