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Fire and Rescue Crews Receive Computer Aided Dispatches on a Standard Cell Phone via New Amerilert Service
Jul 22, 2010 (11:07 AM EDT)


Amerilert now connects to CAD systems via the SNPP protocol for reliable automated alerts to first responders

BALTIMORE, July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- From booth #405 at the Firehouse Expo, Omnilert® LLC, maker of Amerilert® First Responder, the leading SMS-based dispatch and paging system for fire departments and rescue squads, today announced that the Amerilert First Responder service now connects to Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) systems via the SNPP protocol. Fire Stations, Rescue Squads, and EMS can configure Amerilert First Responder to automatically dispatch pages from the 911 center or dispatch center directly to standard cell phones and pagers of first responders.

Previously, a fire station or EMS would receive a dispatch from the 911 center and turn around and dispatch their own message from the Amerilert interface to the desired groups. Amerilert First Responder's CAD Pack now automates this connection, so no human intervention is required from the Fire Station or EMS. The system can be configured for everyone to receive an alert or it can go to specific groups or individuals.

John Wood is the Chief at Griffin Fire District in Wash. Chief Woods said, "We use Amerilert First Responder as a secondary alert system, but it is used simultaneously with the primary alert system. The Amerilert CAD Pack ensures the dispatch from the 911 center goes out over the tone radio as a voice alert and over Amerilert as a text message to standard cell phones. We're mostly a volunteer fire department, so some of our people don't always take their primary alert, so they still have that secondary Amerilert that they can then respond to."

"The tone pager broadcasts the primary call only one time, and you don't always hear what's said on the radio, but the Amerilerts give you updates in text -- they give you the address, the contact information, what's going on, and a whole lot more information."

"Amerilert also gives us the ability, when we're on the scene, to alert a support group of volunteers who are not fire fighters but support us on bigger incidents. I also like how Amerilert nails down the ability to communicate with the department members on a daily basis about non-emergency things such as drills and assignments."

"Before Amerilert, we used the traditional alphanumeric pagers, but they did not get very good coverage. Sometimes you could be sitting in the fire station and not get the alpha page. We switched to Amerilert and it gives us a lot better service -- the alerts come within 10 seconds -- and it's a lot more flexible. The young fire fighters have their cell phones on 24/7, so we're really able to communicate a lot better because of it and they don't have to carry around a third device."

"I would recommend to fire chiefs to keep your tone pagers as your primary for initial dispatches, but use Amerilert for out-of-district primary alerts, for secondary dispatches that include additional info, for inter-department communications, and for other outreach efforts. It is much more reliable, flexible and user-friendly than alpha pagers."

Jim Dinsch, Information Systems Coordinator at Countryside Fire Protection District in Ill. said, "There is huge value in being able to simultaneously dispatch an alert to on-duty personnel and also text alert to off-duty personnel being called back for additional manpower or specialty personnel for HAZMAT, technical rescue or water rescue type situations."

"Amerilert offers an additional means of alerting your personnel and it's a great backup system. I also work at a volunteer fire department and I quite often get my text message to my phone before my radio page goes off."

Amerilert is a highly redundant, geographically-dispersed, hosted communication system operating with 99.999% uptime. This extreme reliability meets or exceeds the performance of many radio-based dedicated public safety alerting systems used by fire departments and rescue squads today.

Availability and Pricing

Amerilert First Responder's CAD Pack is available for purchase and implementation today. The CAD Pack cost $495 per year and includes training, support and software updates. Amerilert First Responder pricing starts at $5 per person per month for a station of 50 people. To learn more about the service, please contact info@Amerilert.com or call 800-600-3911.

About Amerilert

Amerilert is the leading unified mass notification system for mid-sized businesses, non-profits and government clients. Amerilert enables non-technical staff to send custom or predefined messages from one interface to thousands of people anywhere, anytime, on any device for improved crisis communications, emergency management and business continuity. Amerilert is the only mission-tested alert system that is CAP 1.1 compliant and favorably reviewed by DISA. Amerilert is used by the U.S. Army, Defense Logistics Agency, U.S. Attorney's Office, Boeing, Goodrich, Schering-Plough, Philadelphia Zoo, and fire departments across America. As a highly redundant web-based system, there is no software to install, no hardware to buy, and no additional phone lines needed. To learn more, visit http://www.Amerilert.com.

About Omnilert

Omnilert, LLC is the leading provider of unified mass notification systems for better business continuity, emergency management, and routine communication. The easy-to-use, self-service, Web-based system enables a single person to communicate timely information to thousands of people anywhere, anytime, on any device or service. The award-winning company's 3,000 clients include the U.S. Army, Boeing, sanofi-aventis, Harvard University, Penn State, American Red Cross, UNICEF, and the National Institutes of Health. Omnilert solutions are sold under the brand names e2Campus, Amerilert, and RainedOut. The privately held company is headquartered in Leesburg, Va., and at http://www.omnilert.com online.

SOURCE Omnilert, LLC