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Posted on: July 3, 2014

County Residents Urged to Register Their Mobile Phones with CODE RED

News Release Issued by Sandoval County

As we move deeper into the summer fire season, Sandoval County residents are urged to register their mobile phones and email addresses with the CODE RED emergency notification system.

The CODE RED system uses GPS technology to access telephone networks in any area affected by an emergency—such as a fire, chemical spill or other disaster—and notify residents of actions they should take to avoid danger. The system is used by local emergency response organizations across the country, including the Sandoval County Fire Department.

The system proved valuable during the 2011 Las Conchas Fire when it was able to identify every land-based telephone line in a broad area surrounding the fire, and call residents who needed to evacuate. However, because the system only has direct access to landlines, residents who were not home at the time—or didn’t have landlines—did not receive the notice.

CODE RED will call mobile numbers and send messages to email addresses that have been registered with the system, which is why emergency responders are urging county residents to take that step.

Dave Bervin, Sandoval County’s assistant fire chief for emergency management, said the Las
Conchas Fire illustrated perfectly why residents should register their mobile phones with CODE RED.

“The system worked, but communication needed to extend beyond landlines to cell phones, work phones and other communication devices,” Bervin explained. “If residents had registered their cell phones, they could have received the message. Then they would have been able to call a neighbor’s landline or cell phone to check on a family member or pet.”

Sandoval County residents can register their cell phones and work phones—or even sign up for email alerts—by going to the county’s website (www.sandovalcountynm.gov) - use link below.

There also are mobile apps available that will send CODE RED messages to users traveling through areas affected by an emergency.

“That happened to me when I was driving through Colorado during the fires last year,” said Mike Scales, Sandoval County communications administrator. “I received an alert to my cell phone as soon as I entered the area.”

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