Brunswick County emergency services goes extra mile for safety

BRUNSWICK COUNTY -- Brunswick County emergency services has gone the extra mile to keep their residents safe. Two years ago they purchased the FirstCall interactive network. This system, based out of Louisiana, takes the phone numbers of all the residents in Brunswick County and puts them in a database. During dangerous situations, it can call the numbers and notify them of the situation. During an event like a fire, a chemical spill, severe weather or a missing person, Brunswick County emergency services has the option of activating the FirstCall interactive network. It is essentially a reverse 911 system that has the ability to call anyone being affected by the situation. Scott Garner of Brunswick County Emergency Services said, "It can be used for any type of law enforcement event, if you needed to tell people to get out. Hazardous material: that is probably where it would be used the quickest or would be the most effective." Most recently FirstCall was used during a large smoke-out condition in the Longwood area. In this situation, the service helped notify the residents in that area of the smoky conditions and then warned them to either stay at their home or travel very cautiously. The service can also come in handy during some types of severe weather. "Events that are not fast-breaking, maybe flooding that is expected, other types of events that we can expect but have planning time," Garner said. With faster-moving severe weather like thunderstorms and tornadoes, the best way to stay informed is a NOAA weather radio. They will alert you of severe weather warnings from the local national weather service 24 hours a day. But during hurricane season, FirstCall could really come in handy. "Notify them, the residents, when voluntary evacuations are put in place, when mandatory evacuations will be put in place, possible flooding conditions, when roads may be out of service because of flooding over them," Garner said. And the county feels that this service is well worth the cost. "It's money well-spent, because anytime we can inform the public of a dangerous situation or in the future maybe a potential of needing to do an evacuation for a hazardous conditions and we can do it quickly and efficiently through this FirstCall network," Garner said. Emergency services says that the response they have gotten back on FirstCall has been great. People have been very appreciative of the information that can be given during the short phone call. This informative service is available to all residents in Brunswick County. If you have an unlisted phone number or a cell phone and live in Brunswick County, you can sign up as well. Visit www.FirstCall.net.

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thank you for this service. during last evening's threatening weather and tornado warning we received a call. a wonderful addition to an already outstanding system in our county.
To start off with most people dont even use house phones they use cell phones, this is the biggest waste of taxpayers moneys since the ACE program where tax dollars went to improve peoples property, I for one cannot believe that Randy Thompson thinks by putting in place a service that cost ten times as much as giving everybody emergency service radios is a good plan, if the power goes down for any lenght of time most phones will not work. Short thinking by a long minded BS artist someone has got to do something about this guy. oh I bet its there just to pad his already broadened resume, which has come at the exspense of tax payers in this county. Just what has he done? Iam shore the list is long and exspensive.
The system works and FirstCall has a web site that allows you to register your cell phone to your home address. That way you will be notified when any incident affects your family and home no matter where you are. there is no limit on how many phones can be registered to an address. Hopefully you will not need us . The community has a valuable tool that provides communication between the community leaders and the citizens and that is invaluable. It is the way it is supposed to be with government. The police , fire ,hazmat groups can use the system to call in emergency help and get an interactive response as to how long before they can reaspond. When icidents happen the system can keep everyone informed where emergency services are located. The telephone works usually even if power is out. During the east Coast bl;ackout some years ago FC kept working and spread valuable instructions to the citizens. Howard Dennis President FirstCall Emergency Notification
Sounds like you are short-sighted....I bet you have never set foot in a 911 center! This system works! I myself am a dispatcher in another county that uses a system similar to the one Brunswick County uses.......IT WORKS...PERIOD! It also works with cell phones! Can you put a cost on public saftety? If something catostrophic were to happen, I bet you'll be the first one complaining that you were not notified. Not everything can be judged by cost alone. Take that into consideration.
Yes, people use cell-phones most of the time but this will shock you - they still answer their home phones when they ring. This identical system was recently credited with saving lives in both California wildfires and midwestern tornadoes. So we are "shore" that you have no idea what you're talking about.
which one saved lives, the one they have or the one we have, the next time the santa anna winds blow here at the north carolinas coast I hope that california system works for us, until then you may want to get the same warning system they have at the base of mt saint helens because are local volcano may blow as well.......get real you scared me to death and no I will not be the first to scream help or complain about something that works, but once I have been notified how will I leave when our evacuation routes are a joke, and I believe that scare tactic work well when backed up my partial facts..... and by the way I do more to protect lives and property in one day than Randy Thompson does all year........