When seconds matter, fast and effective communication can make a difference.
On Tuesday night, the Neligh City Council approved the purchase of a six-month trial of CodeRED communication system to run April through September. No tax dollars will be spent on the trial.
CodeRED is a high-speed emergency notification solution to inform communities about immediate emergencies, such as missing children, evacuations, wildfires and severe weather.
When a life-threatening event impacts the community, a CodeRED notification can be launched instantly through phone calls, text messages, emails, social media messages and through the CodeRED mobile alert app.
Neligh Police Chief Mike Wright said this system also has reverse 911 callback as well. This communications network can send notifications to a geographically-specific area, so visitors, as well as citizens, can receive these imminent messages directly on their smart phones.
"This would be a really good way to contact citizens if we needed to," Wright told the council members.
The six-month trial will cost the City of Neligh $2,130.82, but none of the funds will come from tax dollars. City Clerk Dana Klabenes said Neligh is one of 71 communities that will receive part of $200,000 from ACE membership distribution. Neligh will receive $3,629.96 from ACE, which will more than cover the cost of implementing this trial.
Wright told the council members that more than two-thirds of the state of Nebraska is using this system.
"Every county west of the Antelope-Holt County line is using this CodeRED. There are several communities east of that line that have recently come on or are looking at it," Wright said.
CodeRED is also used to initiate and dispatch teams of first responders in addition to the pagers system.
This system can also be used for different department of the public sector to communication with each other and with the public.
"Whoever is on this system can record a personal message and have it go out as personal or whatever you need to put out there," Wright said.
Wright explained that the CodeRED system will replace Nixle, the communication app that Neligh has been using. Not only does CodeRED have the ability to push out IPAWS messages for emergencies, it also has the ability to to text-to-speech and three other languages, Wright said.
People who download this system can select notifications they wish to receive outside of the emergency notifications and how they prefer to receive notifications.
Klabenes said this system is easily accessible for the Neligh community.
"It makes it easier for people to receive information," Klabenes said. "They don't have to put the work into actually logging into the system to get setup. They are automatically in and can then select what notifications they receive on their part."
She added, "I really believe that with the way things are moving, and with this technology, it is worth trying."