City alert sytem schedules test call

DeKalb+Fire+Chief+Eric+Hicks+uses+CodeRED%2C+DeKalb%E2%80%99s+new+city-wide+alert+system.+The+alert+system+is+a+free+resource+for+community+members+to+be+updated+on+severe+weather+announcements+and+crime+alerts.+CodeRED+will+have+its+first+test+call+Monday.

DeKalb Fire Chief Eric Hicks uses CodeRED, DeKalb’s new city-wide alert system. The alert system is a free resource for community members to be updated on severe weather announcements and crime alerts. CodeRED will have its first test call Monday.

By Kristin Maglabe

The DeKalb Fire Department will launch the first test call for the CodeRED warning system Monday.

CodeRED is a high-speed notification system that alerts people in DeKalb of emergencies, including fires and missing persons reports. The CodeRED alerts are sent via text, e-mail or call depending on what a subscriber has signed up for. When the test is sent out, recipients will be informed it is a test, while an actual alert would state the emergency, said Assistant Fire Chief Jeff McMaster.

McMaster said the notification system at the Fire Department has become outdated. CodeRED replaces the old system, Reverse 911, which could only leave voice messages through landlines during alerts.

“Our old system was inadequate,” McMaster said. “It was extremely slow and to the point where it technologically died. It could only dial landlines.”

Mayor John Rey has already signed up for the CodeRED alerts.

“I encourage others, residents and citizens, to sign up. Broad participation would be what makes CodeRED most effective,” Rey said.

To sign up for the alerts, log on to the city of DeKalb’s website, www.cityofdekalb.com, and specify which notification method is preferred whether it be via email, text or call.

McMaster said students can sign up for the alerts regardless of where they live.

“I think it’s a great idea because there are AMBER alerts, but there isn’t really anything for missing adults,” said sophomore nursing major Alesha Gauntt. “There’s no such thing as too much help.”

The first CodeRed test call will launch at 10 a.m.