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Sunday, December 21, 2014
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Emergency personnel start an alert system

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - Updated: 7:39 PM

By MEGAN ULRICH

Express News Staff

INLET -- Dennis Hudson and Matt Miller are volunteer emergency personnel with Inlet Volunteer Emergency Services, as well as radio and technology enthusiasts. After battling with poor radio reception in the area, the men decided to come up with a system that would allow clear, concise communication.

"We have been frustrated by the lack of reliable communication that plagues many of the communities, specifically Inlet, Raquette Lake and Big Moose. Many of us have to struggle daily to communicate with our dispatch, each other, and cooperating agencies on a flawed radio system.

"Finding a 'sweet spot' for radio or cell reception, or a land line phone to communicate with dispatchers, can waste valuable seconds, and that slows our response to emergencies," says Hudson.

The two have set up the system to act as a secondary method to receive pages from dispatchers.

The system is a dedicated radio and computer that listens to the same on-air radio signal as current fire department and EMS pagers and radios, according to Hudson.

"When dispatch sends the appropriate tones for an agency, we record that audio and email it to a list of people that subscribe on our website. Most modern cell phones, computers, laptops and tablets can receive the audio page.

"As long as they have Multimedia Messaging Service or a valid email address, we can send the alerts," says Hudson.

Live streaming audio, similar to an Internet scanner, is available through the service as well. Subscribers are now able to listen live to the emergency personnel responding and on scene.

AND IT'S FREE

The new service is currently free for everyone. Hudson and Miller, along with several other folks, have donated equipment, time and money to get it going.

There are some recurring costs to maintain the website and Internet, and Hudson says that asking for donations isn't out of the question in the future.

He says the service is going great and has been well received.

"We have support from police and fire officials and tested the system with them for months before going public," says Hudson.

Hudson says the service can be helpful to many in the local communities.

DANGER ALERTS

"I hope it helps everyone in the community. The public can be alert to dangers in their neighborhood. First responders save time by getting clear audio delivered to their phones in the field.

"Some people are now able to get these emails and text through WiFi and cell phone microcells where they have none or very poor radio service," he says.

To begin receiving alerts, visit website adkalert.org. An MMS address or email address is necessary to sign up. People are able to subscribe to one, two, or all of the alerts available.

A confirmation email or text will be sent that requires a response before alerts will be sent automatically. Information about how to unsubscribe is available on the website, and the service can be controlled with interactive messages as well.

All pages are archived on the website and are available to view.

     

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