When there’s an emergency, Madison County citizens know to call 9-1-1. But pretty soon, 9-1-1 can call, text, or e-mail you when there’s a weather crisis, major accident or other emergency.
Madison County commissioners unanimously approved a contract with First Call Nov. 7 to implement a web-based citizen notification system. The total cost to the county will be $11,700. The system costs $23,400, but the county received a 50-percent grant from the state government.
Madison County 9-1-1 director David Camp said the new “reverse 9-1-1” system, which is expected to be in place in about a month, will be a “giant leap forward in public safety.”
“One of the things we’re real good at at the 9-1-1 center is notifying emergency responders,” said Camp. “When we get a call of a house fire or a bad wreck, we’re real good at letting the people who need to respond know that they need to go. But one of the things we’re not real good at is getting word out to the general public of dangerous situations, things that could impact their safety or could inconvenience them in some way. In the past, the only avenue we had for that was to call radio stations and just hope folks would listen to the radio. But this proposal hopefully will rectify that situation.”