Friday, September 2, 2011

Citizen Alert System

The City of Ashland, City of Medford, and Jackson County have partnered in the purchase of a Citizen Alert system which will significantly improve our ability to communicate with the public in an emergency as well as other significant events. Here are some of the highlights:
· The Citizen Alert system will notify citizens when a notification is sent out by Fire, Police, Public Works, or other designated City personnel. This can be done for an emergency or other major event such as a fire, missing person, major transportation issue, etc.

· This notification can be in the form of a call to the citizen’s land line, cell phone, SMS text, email, work phone, etc.

· The Citizen Alert system to be used by City of Ashland, City of Medford, and Jackson County utilizes the same data base.

· All land-lines are already in the data base. This is known as the ESN 911 (Emergency Service Number) information. This is the same data base that allows a 911 dispatcher to know where the call is coming from when you dial 911 from your land-line based home phone.

· There are two features of this system that allow citizens to customize it for their use. By “opting in” you can create a profile that improves how and when you receive notifications.

· When you opt-in you can define how you are notified, i.e. by land line, cell phone, text, email, etc., and prioritize in which order these notifications are made. There are up to 7 choices. You can set the priority of how the system contacts you. For example, you can set text as your #1 choice, email as #2, or whatever you prefer.

· Also when you opt-in you can list up to five locations where you want to receive notifications. This is attractive if you want to know about other locations such as your kid’s school, relative’s homes, place of business, etc. This also allows a relative who lives outside the area to opt-in to receive notifications affecting citizens in the area. For example, the out of state children of an elderly Ashland citizen can be alerted when a notification goes out for their parent.

· These features are only available if you opt-in. If you don’t, the system will only attempt contact on your land line. If you don’t have a land line, no contact will be attempted without you opting in.

The City of Ashland highly encourages all citizens of Ashland and Jackson County to opt-in to the Citizen Alert system. It only takes a minute or two. You can access the opt-in page by going to and clicking on 'Opt-in to Citizen Alert' on the right side of the homepage. You will be linked to the opt-in page at the Citizen Alert system provider, Everbridge, and can then click on 'Sign Up' for Alerts.

If you have any questions please call Ashland Fire & Rescue at 541-482-2770. We’ll also be hosting a work shop soon that will allow citizens who don’t have computers or who are having difficulty to be assisted in opting-in by members of the department.

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