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March 31, 2010

Fire Department Deploys Self Registration Portal to Enhance Public Safety Communications

By Jayashree Adkoli, TMCnet Contributor

In an effort to improve public safety communications efforts throughout the city of Pasadena, Calif., Pasadena Fire Department has added PlantCML's self registration portal “SRP” to GeoCast Web emergency notification solution.

With the help of this free online gateway, Pasadena residents will be able to sign up to receive alerts issued by the Department through landline or cellular telephone, text message, or e-mail. Consequently, this will enhance public safety communications via free online gateway.

'The SRP comes in response to a growing need for operations to fill existing gaps within the contact data used in conjunction with their crisis communications strategies,' said Mike Adams, product line manager for PlantCML's Notification Solutions and Services business unit. 'As more people migrate from land lines to cellular and VoIP telephones, public safety operations must find new ways to gather and maintain accurate contact data. The SRP is specifically designed to improve the quality and quantity of information used for mass notification.'

PlantCML's GeoCast Web solution and its counterpart, The Communicator! NXT emergency notification solution, together are serving as the backbone of the Pasadena Local Emergency Alert System (PLEAS), according to a press release.

The self registration portal (SRP), developed using GeoCast Web solution, now appears on the City of Pasadena's disaster preparedness page, located at http://ww2.cityofpasadena.net/disaster/. Interested residents are required to complete a short form, which asks for contact information, address, and more. The form also determines their preferences for notification during both emergencies and non-emergencies.

Utilizing Microsoft’s (News - Alert) Bing maps, the SRP quickly plots locations and presents them on its digital, street-level display. If the positioning of the map point is incorrect, due to a typographical error, the user leveraging the SRP can easily reposition the pin to the exact location of the address, according to the company officials.

According to PlantCML, the GeoCast Web solution seamlessly geo-codes this information and saves it to the application address database on a scheduled basis. This ensures notification integrity and also facilitates organizations to send future communications through the application to individuals in the immediate area of an event. This in-turn improves public safety efforts throughout the city of Pasadena.

'Our mission is to provide protection of life, property and the environment from the effects of fires, medical emergencies and hazards,' said Dennis J. Downs, fire chief, Pasadena Fire Department. 'We engage the community in our mission through progressive community outreach, and the SRP is just one more way we can work toward that goal.'

According to PlantCML, an EADS (News - Alert) North America company, it is offering the next generation of E-911 and secure network communications through Voice over IP-enabled applications, interoperable P25 radio systems and advanced emergency notification technologies.

Jayashree Adkoli is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Jayashree's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Alice Straight

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