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Firewise and the CodeRed Emergency Notification System in Jefferson County

The CodeRed Emergency Notification System is available to all residents of Jefferson County, including Ken-Caryl Ranch. CodeRed is used by law enforcement, fire departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies to alert residents of emergencies in their area, including wildfire evacuation notices.

Many people do not realize that when they dial 911 on a landline phone, their location is displayed to the emergency dispatcher taking the call at the Public Safety Access Point (PSAP). This process is known as “reverse lookup” and allows a dispatcher to quickly determine the caller’s location. The operator can also dispatch help to the address and proceed with emergency response even if the call is disconnected or the caller is unable to speak due to a medical emergency or threat.

But what happens if a caller uses a mobile phone? That’s the problem affecting many people today. According to a 2012 report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 55 percent of American households with residents between the ages of 15 and 24 years old do not have a home phone. As more households choose mobile phones over landline phones, fewer people are receiving reverse 911 calls. Instead, they’re opting for alternate contact method including mobile phones.

CodeRed allows citizens to enter various communication paths so he or she can be reached in emergencies. For the past few years, citizen opt-in portals have been popping up on various municipal websites, making it easy for people to add multiple contact methods, even while away from home. Meanwhile, the implementation of these systems corresponds with the rising demand for new and more personal ways of receiving communications.

As a new, information-hungry generation emerges, more people expect to be informed. When it comes to life-threatening situations, it is an expectation of the population to be notified immediately via several contact paths.

Jefferson County residents and businesses can register their mobile phone numbers or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone numbers to receive emergency notifications. “Landline” phones are automatically included in the CodeRED database for each emergency agency.

CodeRED reaches numbers from two databases. One is the county’s 911 database, which contains all listed and unlisted landlines. If you have a landline, it is automatically included in this database. The second is a database of mobile phone and VoIP numbers — established in 2009 — whose owners have opted in to receive the calls. If you don’t have a traditional landline phone, or would like to receive a text, email or cell phone call in addition to the call on your landline phone, consider registering for this free service.

The CodeRed Emergency Notification System is designed to quickly provide important information to local residents regarding critical incidents. Because the CodeRed Emergency system is designed to call landlines within the community, those residents and businesses currently without a landline telephone must register their contact information to be on the emergency notification list. The CodeRed registration website is available to register your contact information and preferences. Please note that residents who have previously registered their phone numbers must re-register under the new CodeRed Emergency Notification System to update their contact information.

This article appeared in the Feb. 24, 2016 issue of Life at Ken-Caryl.

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