REVERSE 911® Emergency Notification System used to evacuate thousands in 2009 California fire
Published on 4 June 2009
When a wildfire broke out in the brush-covered hills above Santa Barbara, California on May 5, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Public Safety Dispatch center was ready. As flames moved toward populated areas, the Sheriff's Department issued evacuation calls using the patented REVERSE 911® emergency notification system to notify endangered residents.
When the Jesusita fire was finally contained two weeks later, the Sheriff's Department had issued more than 209,000 REVERSE 911 calls. The majority of those notifications were sent in one session on May 6, when 44,700 numbers were dialed.
"We're very pleased with the way the REVERSE 911 system worked," said Sergeant Tom Walton, Emergency Preparedness and Planning Coordinator for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department. "We've used the system in three fires in the past ten months and have had excellent results in notifying and evacuating residents."
"The Technical Support team for REVERSE 911 was outstanding during the fire," Walton continued. "They were on-call in case we had any issues and we appreciate their help."
"The Santa Barbara area has suffered through three devastating wildfires in the past year," said Mark Portanova, National Sales Manager for Public Safety at Dialogic Communications Corporation (DCC), which offers the REVERSE 911 emergency notification system. "We're honored that the County Public Safety Dispatch Center uses our proven solution as part of their efforts to keep residents aware of unfolding events in critical situations."
According to state fire officials, the blaze consumed more than 8,700 acres, destroyed 80 homes, damaged 15 others, burned more than 80 other structures and injured 28 firefighters. The Jesusita fire cost an estimated $20 million to combat while causing more than $120 million in damage.
REVERSE 911 is the most recognized name in emergency notification for public safety. The system is sold and supported through Dialogic Communications Corp. (DCC) - a subsidiary of industry leader PlantCML®, an EADS North America company. Deployed in hundreds of operations throughout North America, REVERSE 911 emergency notification systems provide immediate, accurate map and list-based communications with local communities and first responders.
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