Emergency Notification System CodeRED
Sponsored by: Palos Park Police Department
and Southwest Central Dispatch
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The Palos Park Police Department through Southwest Central Dispatch
has recently initiated a local Emergency Notification System (ENS)
to provide telephone messages to citizens during emergency
What is an Emergency Notification System?
Emergency Notification Systems, or ENS, are systems to provide mass
notification of residents in the event of an emergency. In Palos
Park we have chosen to use the Emergency Communications Network,
Inc. CodeRED system as a means to notify residents by phone.
What should I do if I receive a CodeRED message?
If you receive a CodeRED message, listen carefully. The message will
be brief and not repeated. Follow the instructions given. You may be
directed to a commercial TV or radio station for further
information. Do not hang up until you have heard the entire message.
You may miss important information. Do not call 9-1-1 for further
information unless directed to do so. You will only tie up the
What does a CodeRED message sound like?
The message is normally recorded by a detective. It is a true
recorded message and not computer generated. The message will always
begin with a statement that This is the Village of Palos Park
Police, Fire, Village Hall or Public Works department. They will
then state if the call is an emergency or non-emergency situation.
The text of the message and further instructions would follow. The
messages will generally be brief and if further instructions are
necessary, you may be directed to turn to a commercial radio or TV
CodeRED is a
telephone notification system that can dial up to 60,000 phones an
hour and deliver a recorded message. The detective division can use
a digital map online to define an area that requires a message and
CodeRED will automatically target all of the phone numbers in that
defined area for the emergency message. When the detective initiates
the notification, the recorded message is “blasted” to all the
phones in the defined area in a very brief period. Busy numbers will
be redialed a preset number of times. CodeRED also has the ability
to store predefined lists of names and phone numbers that can be
activated for specific notifications.
can leave a message on a telephone answering instrument you may not
receive the message because of noise levels on the recorder and the
length of the prerecorded message.
How does CodeRED determine what phone numbers to dial?
Central Dispatch (SWCD) has the authority to use confidential 9-1-1
telephone numbers for emergency ENS calls. SWCD also purchased
listed phone numbers from a commercial database. If you have caller
ID CodeRED will displays the following number: 999-911-9999.
Why you may not receive a message?
If a person
utilizes cell phones, voice over IP or any other type of service not
associated with normal landline telephone service, their phone will
not be in the database. If a business has multiple telephone numbers
associated with their business they may not be contacted.
manager service will defeat the system.
If you are
uncertain or desire additional numbers to be notified, you should
access: www.southwestcentral911.org click on the CodeRED link. If
you do not have access to the Internet you can call our station at:
What are some
of the uses for CodeRed?
The primary use
of CodeRed is to notify county residents of an immediate emergency.
It can be used to define an area for evacuation or ‘shelter in
place’ notifications for incidents such as a hazardous material
spill or major gas leak. It can also be used to direct residents to
a specific TV or Radio station for further important details and
instructions. It may alert residents to shelters during weather or
power emergencies. CodeRed can also be used to alert a neighborhood
to watch for a lost child, an impaired individual who has walked
away, or dangerous individuals that may be in the area.
be used for non-emergency or urgent messages?
Yes. Using the
list feature, the Police Department may wish to use it to notify
on-call employees very quickly and notify specialized officers in
case of a large-scale emergency. The department can create lists of
emergency responders and use CodeRed as a backup to the normal
emergency notification process.
Who pays for
The Board of
Directors of Southwest Central Dispatch (SWCD) has agreed that SWCD
would be the contracting agency and that SWCD would assume the cost
for emergency notifications. The Village of Palos Park may use
CodeRed for non-emergency notifications and would reimburse SWCD for
the cost of the activation.
the only means of notification?
No! No Emergency
Notification System is 100% reliable. People do not always hear TV
and radio messages, especially at night. Sirens have a limited range
and give little information. Door-to-door or mobile loudspeaker
notifications are time-consuming and inefficient. CodeRED cannot
reach everyone and is only a part of the notification process. It
gives emergency managers another tool to alert the public. Residents
are still encouraged to listen to warnings issued through the TV and
radio media and NOAA weather radios.
Is CodeRED appropriate for all emergency notifications?
No. CodeRED is
only one of many tools and has limitations. It does take some time
to set up a CodeRED notification and make the calls. Threats in
progress, such as a tornado that was just spotted, would not give
emergency managers enough time to make a CodeRED notification.
Emergencies that occur in a very brief time frame are not good
candidates for a CodeRED type of notification. Other options may be
Any questions about CodeRED and its
operation can be directed to our detective division at 708-671-3770