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4/25/2013 County dispatch center gets $240,000 upgrade AND CodeRED:


Public urged to update info for dispatchers Custer County is switching to a new system to notify residents of an emergency, however, the new system called CodeRED is only as good as the telephone database supporting it.

“If your phone number is not in the system,” said local 911 dispatch supervisor Kristie Geroux, “then you won’t be notified.”

Geroux noted that Custer County decided to switch to the CodeRED mass notification system because it has proven to be more efficient when it comes to quickly delivering messages.

Those emergency messages are delivered to folks in targeted areas of the county or throughout the community, depending upon the location and nature of the emergency.

The call database includes cellular and land line phone numbers, as well as e-mail addresses, as the emergency messages can be delivered via voice, text message and e-mail.

To make sure all local residents are included in the emergency call CodeRED system, Geroux encourages folks to verify that the phone number entered into the county’s current emergency call back system is correct, and to add an additional phone number, if needed. E-mail can also be added.

To do that, go online to custercountygov.com and follow the prompts after clicking the CodeRED icon.

Those who do not have access to the internet can call the sheriff’s office at 783-2270.

The CodeRED system was funded through the local E-911 authority board and the office of emergency management at a cost of $4,500. – Nora Drenner


Getting to folks in an emergency just got easier, thanks to the new 911 system recently installed in Custer County Dispatch located inside the sheriff’s office.

The new system is the result of an unfunded federal mandate that required all 911 dispatch facilities throughout the United States to comply.

The upgraded 911 system allows those who can’t speak to relay the emergency through the TDY messaging system.

The upgraded 911 system also features phase two wireless to receive GPS coordinates from a cell phone, and the mapping required to match those coordinates.

Cost of the new system was $240,000 with the proceeds coming from county E-911 funds. The E-911 funds, which is the $1.25 per month surcharge folks see on landline and cell phones bills, are administered through the Custer County E-911 authority board.

The board is comprised of a representative of each town, two county commissioners, clinic, fire district, and school.

“It took 15 years to collect those dollars,” said E-911 board administrator Kristie Geroux.

Geroux noted the last county 911 system upgrade took place in 2004 at a cost of $100,000, however, one-half of those dollars were grant funds.

“This time,” said Geroux, “no grant proceeds were available.” To help with the $240,000 cost of the 2013 upgrade, the local fire department kicked in $500, the sheriff’s office $800 and $122 in donations were received through the most recent Wet Mountain Valley Community Spirit Campaign.

Per technology specifications, said Geroux, the county’s 911 system should be upgraded every five years. – Nora Drenner