Emery County's Local Emergency Planning Committee meets every other month to help ensure that Emery County is ready for any crisis situation. In the November meeting Sgt. Tom Harrison introduced Karen Smith, Citizen Corps Council coordinator as well as Green River Emergency Manager, and Lisa Allen Vista volunteer who will officially begin in January and be headquartered at the Sheriff's Office in Green River. Smith has been attending all of the city council meetings in each town notifying them of the CERT program which is the Citizens Emergency Response Team. Smith will organize CERT training in 2009 which will be available to anyone wishing to be part of a CERT team.
Another item the LEPC has been involved with and the Emery County Sheriff's office has been testing is the CODE Red emergency notification system.
This system has been tested throughout the county. There has been a little trouble with operator-intercepted calls. Another test will be done countywide to determine if Emery Telcom is overloaded with the volume of calls.
One advantage to the CODE Red system is groups of people can be earmarked to receive phone calls. The recent training with XTO Energy worked well because all XTO employees were notified with a CODE Red phone call that there was an emergency. Part of the testing will also be to remove non-working phone numbers from the lists.
Other groups which may be notified together include the Sheriff's Posse and local Fire Department, power plant workers etc. Once a group is set it is the owner's responsibility to update changes to numbers or addresses. There is a problem with the Miller Creek area where some county residents have a 637 prefix. These may have to be entered by hand.
Cell phones can be added by accessing online CODE RED through a link from the Emery County website and also the Emery County Progress website ecprogress.com.
There was some trouble in Emery County with people ignoring the call when their caller ID shows up the 866 prefix. Education is the solution to get people to answer the call. The CODE Red number is 866-419-5000 and it will remain this number.
The Emery County Sheriff's Office will launch an education campaign concerning CODE Red and will visit the senior citizen centers to educate the seniors on the importance of answering these calls from CODE Red.
CODE Red organizer Sgt. Bliss Mead said, "The trouble with cell phones is that some cell phones have ring back tones where the caller listens to music while the party is reached.
"These won't work, so there's no use calling in with those numbers. Operator intercept calls where you don't say hello and the message says, please hold while your party is reached, also won't work. Basically for the cell phone to work for the CODE Red notification you need to say hello. The CODE Red system is just for Emery County. If you have a special need for wanting to be notified of an Emery County emergency, such as an aged parent, or you work in Emery County then you can call me or Sgt. Harrison or Capt. Ekker and we can work something out so you can be entered into the system.
"This system is just for emergency use only, not just for the curious," said Sgt. Mead.