On Tuesday, the Pike County Fiscal Court approved entering into a contract with RAVE Mobile Safety, to provide county residents with an updated emergency alert notification system.
During its special meeting of the PCFC, the court approved ending its contract with CodeRED, the county’s current system for providing mass emergency alert notifications to residents, and entering into a contract with RAVE to take over those services, something Pike County Emergency Management Director Doug Tackett said will be an upgrade.
According to Tackett, the county has had the CodeRED emergency alert system for a number of years and starting out, he said, it was good system. But, evidently the company hasn’t “kept up with” technology over the years.
“At the last conference I went to in Louisville, the people from RAVE were down there,” Tackett said. “I talked to them and took a look at their product and it’s quite a bit better than what we have.”
According to Tackett, RAVE emergency alert system has a cheaper cost tag than CodeRED, which he said is a big plus for the county. The RAVE system also has some additional features that comes with, which Tackett said CodeRED does not include.
“With CodeRED, we get a block of 50,000 minutes every year,” Tackett said. “If we go over those 50,000 minutes, which we never have, it would cost us 33 cents a minute to replace what we’ve used. With RAVE it’s unlimited.”
Jones asked Tackett how the system works, to which Tackett said RAVE was a mass emergency notification system.
“In the events of a disaster, emergencies, chemical spills or whatever,” Tackett said. “If we need to notify citizens, we can do this with this product from the office, a cellphone, my house or wherever I need to and it will put a notice out for a geographic area, or county-wide, if need be.”
Tackett added that the system also comes with iPause, which he said is an interrogated public alert warning system. That will allow emergency management to access the EAS (Emergency Alert System), which streams across the T.V. screens, as well as radio station that can also be interrupted.
“It also allows us to do alerts to cellphones that aren’t registered with the system,” Tackett said. “It’s just basically a tool that we can use to warn people and notify people of different things.”
Jones said he suspects that there a lot of people out in the county who have no idea that this service is even an option or how to even sign up for the alert system. According to Tackett, people can register on the website, which the county’s emergency management social media page has provided a link to online.
“We’ve even had some people call our office to sign them up because they didn’t have access to a computer,” Tackett said.
Jones said that, asthe court moves forward, he encourages Tackett to come up during meetings just to remind everyone that the system is there and how to sign-up.
According to Tackett, the current system has about 3,000 subscribed, a number Jones said he’d like to see increase.