By: Terry Harris | Email: Click Here
Posted: December 1, 2019 | 3:30 p.m.
SUSSEX – Reid Foster, Public Safety Coordinator for Sussex County, announced at a recent Board of Supervisors meeting the initiation of the Code Red Warning System for the county, asserting that not only will it speed up making county residents aware of emergency situations, it will also save the county money.
“When I was hired back in January, Mr. (Vandy, County Administrator) Jones and I sat down with a plan I needed to review for emergency notification in Sussex County,” Foster began. “What we had was not user-friendly.”
As a result of that meeting, he said that they did some research and learned that Dinwiddie, Prince George, and Colonial Heights all were using the Code Red System.
“We found out that Dinwiddie County had a contract that would allow us to piggyback off of it,” he continued, “so we reached out to them, and we are here today to tell you that Code Red is up and running on our website… Tonight I’m asking the citizens to go to our county website. You’ll see a little icon that says code red, click on it – it will be self-explanatory what it will do.”
Foster explained that anyone who does not wish to receive notifications from the county can click to opt out, but it also offers the options of allowing the county emergency services to send out text messages, voice messages, and/or emails. He explained that the Sheriff, the Sheriff’s Communication Supervisor Mrs. Wyche, Mrs. Butts (Assistant Administrator), Mr. Jones (County Administrator and Foster have administrative rights to go in and use the system in case a situation arises that requires quickly letting citizens know of an important issue.
“The good part about the system,” Forster said, “is, let’s say Stony Creek has a water main break in that community. We can go in and outline that area and only those citizens in that outlying area will get that notification. I really hope citizens of Sussex County will go online and sign on. And I urge people to make sure if you’re already in the system that your information is correct. Because it can be used for many different things, notifying eople not only in a emergencies, but if we need to put something out to the citizens like a Burn Ban or a major accident, a road closure – anything like that we can use the system for.”
Speaking on the costs associated with the Code Red system, Forster added, “It was a savings of the county over the former supplier. We were paying them right at $16,000, so we had about a $9,000 savings by going to this new system.”
Foster said that the maintenance contract for the system included/built in to the annual fee for the system. He also said that there would be a designated person at the courthouse to help anyone with problems logging onto the system or trying to get information from the system either by phone or in person.
Copyright 2019 by Womack Publishing
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