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Pickup! It's 911 Calling!

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August 16, 2006

Tift County - 911. It's the number you call during an emergency. But now, 911 may call you. It's part of a reverse 911 system that will alert people during bad weather or chemical spills.

It could be a car wreck, a fire or just bad weather, Tift County Fire Chief and EMA Director Mike Flippo gets dispatched by 911 for calls like that daily.  Now, he's turning the tables.

He says, "This computer program will call the telephones in our community and let them know whatever is going on, whether it be bad weather or a chemical incident or even a missing person."

It's called reverse 911.  Combined with a new outdoor siren, whenever there is an emergency, the siren will sound, then phones will start ringing.

County Manager Bill Park says, "We look forward to being able to let our folks know when we've got a serious concern that they need to take some actions of some sort."

Park says the program will be partially paid for with a grant.  He says, "I think it gives us all a sense of security. I mean, part of the obligation we have both as county manager and the county as a whole is to make sure our residents feel safe and secure and that will play a big role in that."

All you have to do is pick up the phone.  Just make sure you don't screen that call.

The reverse 911 system has not been installed yet, the county is still in discussion with vendors. There are 12 other sirens located throughout Tift County, and they are tested the second Tuesday of each month.

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