June 19, 2009
Contact: Gabe Mathiew
Vermilion Parish Communications District

Police Jury to Provide Citizens with Emergency Notification System

The Vermilion Parish Police Jury has entered into an agreement with FirstCall Interactive Network out of Baton Rouge to provide its citizens with an emergency notification system. The system will be used by the parishes public safety agencies, including the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, Vermilion Parish Sheriffs Office, 911,  and the Police Jury to notify citizens by telephone of impending or actual emergencies which threaten life or property. Some examples of such emergencies include, natural disasters such as hurricanes or flooding, hazardous materials evacuation orders, and alerts of other eminent dangers.

Using a database that contains all of the telephone numbers in the parish and an integrated mapping program, the system is able to isolate any specific geographic area and display the exact list of residential and business telephone numbers within it. The system has over 2000 dedicated phone lines for outbound message delivery. Using a 30 second message, the FirstCall system can deliver more than 30,000 voice messages and 200,000 text messages in less than 10 minutes. FirstCall is staffed by trained emergency notification personnel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

The system will also allow citizens to register any phone number to the FirstCall system for emergency notification. This can be done by visiting either the Police Jury website @ vermilionparishpolicejury.com or the Sheriffs Office website @ vpso.net and clicking on the emergency notification links.

Parish officials encourage citizens to update their contact information as soon as possible and to include cell phone numbers and email addresses so they can be notified in the event they are out of the parish. The notification system is currently up and running.