Tennessee District Obtains New Emergency Notification System

Feb. 23, 2006
Through Department of Homeland Security funds, Tennessee Homeland Security District 7 officials have acquired a powerful new Telephone Emergency Notification System, which will be known district-wide as TENS.

The system calls residents, mobilizes first responders during severe weather and can be used to help inform the public and responders about missing persons and other emergencies. TENS will be used before, during and after emergency situations, such as terrorist threats or flooding evacuations. The technology, developed by Franklin, Tenn.-based Dialogic Communications Corp. (DCC), is an Internet-based calling engine. It will allow the district to rapidly alert residents in their homes and mobilize first responders, including police, fire, EMS and emergency management.

Through advanced mapping software, TENS can pinpoint, and then automatically contact, homes and businesses within specific geographic locations. District officials select these notification areas on digital, street-level maps – ranging from a single city block to the entire seven-county (Montgomery, Robertson, Cheatham, Dickson, Humphreys, Houston and Stewart) district. When activated, residents will receive a phone call with important information or safety instructions. This could include shelter locations or the description of a missing child in a specific neighborhood.

The district has a 3-year service contract with Dialogic at a cost of $187,500.

TENS data is derived from all listed residential and business phone numbers throughout the District. Unlisted, non-published, cellular, blocked,and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) numbers are not in the calling database. Those not having published numbers, may visit gisweb.apsu.edu/hls_r911/tens.htm to submit the required information in order to be added.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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