County to demo mass notification system this week

Published 3:00 am Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Pike County Commission has invited county department heads, local mayors, school officials and more for a webinar Tuesday demonstrating a proposed mass notification system.

County administrator Harry Sanders said the public is also welcome to attend, although he said the demonstration is targeted toward the officials who would be using it if the Pike County Commission approves its implementation.

“Those specifically are the folks it’s sort of aimed at because these are the folks, if its chosen, that would be using this kind of system,” Sanders said.

Rave Mobile Alerts will be hosting the demonstration from their base in Boston to show the various officials that could be included in the system how it would work.

“Obviously, it’s a web-based program, so he’ll show us how to actually set up alerts, manage groups, send alerts and all that,” said Pike EMA Director Jeanna Barnes. “It’s just a chance for us to see hands-on and inside and out how it works.”

Barnes pitched the proposal to the commission a few months ago primarily for emergency alert system usage, but the program will be able to be used by multiple departments within the county.

The commission is considering the mass notification system after a siren in Goshen failed and was shown to be cost-prohibitive to replace due to its age.

Tuesday’s webinar will include a demonstration by the company and also include a chance for those present to ask questions they have about the program.

“I feel like, just like other public meetings, the commission will be in charge of the meeting and I’m sure what they’ll try to do is give everyone a chance to speak as much as they can in a limited time,” Sanders said. “I think what it’s meant for is to be an educational opportunity.”

The meeting will be held in the regular meeting place of the commission upstairs at the Pike County Health Department. The meeting will begin at 2 p.m.

The commission will also hold a public “town hall” meeting on a proposed gas tax at 3 p.m. on Monday, February 27 in the same place. The commission also meets on February 27, with a work session at 5:15 p.m. and business meeting at 6 p.m.