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February 13, 2013

Technology Helps to Rescue a Missing Girl in Missouri

By Michael Guta, TMCnet Contributing Writer

Technology like most other things created by man can be used for either good or evil. The application depends on who is using the technology and to what end. When our most precious resource, our kids, are in danger we come together as a community and exhaust all options to ensure they are safely returned to their family.

A great example recently took place in the City of Mexico in Audrain County, Mo. When the city’s public safety department received a call at 3:34 p.m. about a missing girl, the whole city was mobilized and an Everbridge alert was issued immediately. Everbridge is the technology and service Audrain County uses for mass notifications solutions.

The technology was not put in place for this type of scenario, which goes back to the point of how an instrument is used. Initially, the county implemented the Everbridge solution for emergency notifications for criminal activities and severe weather warnings. However, counties like Audrain are increasingly using this type of notification system to help assist authorities in locating missing persons.

This was the first instance in which the system was used in trying to locate a missing person Audrain, and it was met with resounding success.

When the alert was issued information identifying the little girl was broadcast through different sources including landlines, mobile phones, SMS messages and e-mails to residents of the county. Within only one hour, a neighbor located the girl and informed officers. Although the incident was just a misunderstanding, the technology proved it can be very effective if it is used quickly and the citizens of the community respond accordingly.

According to reports, the alert was issued to 4,000 residents in about four minutes. The system works only if residents sign up for the alerts otherwise it becomes useless. Considering we sign up for silly notifications on our mobile devices all the time, it is not too much to ask to sign up for something that can help the community we live in.

 “It is absolutely critical that a mass communications platform perform as quickly and efficiently as expected during emergencies such as the missing child case in Audrain County. Using Everbridge for critical communication can dramatically speed the resolution of cases, helping emergency personnel mitigate the risk and cost of lengthy searches.” said Imad Mouline, chief strategy officer, Everbridge, in a statement.

Everbridge is a provider of interactive communications and mass notifications solutions for private and government organizations. It provides connectivity and feedback within a single communications console for multiple technologies in use today.

Edited by Jamie Epstein
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