Saving lives with a push of a button

Saving lives with a push of a button
By: Arnold Wyrick
SALINE COUNTY, Il. - We all know that when we dial 911, we're going to get someone on the other end of the phone.  And within minutes of the call, first responders are going to be scrambling to the emergency.  But what about when it's us who must scramble to safety?
A new notification system is coming to Southern Illinois, that will be able to do just that.  "What this will do basically is notify people anywhere about anything from a biological, or terrorist attack to severe weather," says Lieutenant Tracy Felty Saline County E-911 Director.
The system works via the wireless network, and can be targeted to send out a text message, or verbal message to a designated area, or broad cast throughout and entire area.
Plus it will help the 911 operators focus on their jobs of keeping people safe, instead of taking calls on what's going on.  "It's a quick way of getting the message out to a lot of people.  Instead of the people calling the dispatch center saying what was that warning we just heard," Felty said.
There's now only one more bug that needs to be worked out of the system before being put into place in Southern Illinois.  "We have to make it secure enough that you're not getting somebody sending false messages."