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City of Rochester

News Release - Monroe County Residents Encouraged to Register Mobile Telephones for 911 Alerts as Part of National Preparedness Month

City of Rochester/Monroe County

News Release

(Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010) As part of National Preparedness Month, the Director of the 911 Emergency Communications Department, John Merklinger, is encouraging Monroe County residents to register their mobile telephones to receive emergency alerts from the 911 Center.

The 911 Center uses the “Hyper-Reach” emergency telephone notification system. This technology is made available and maintained by Pittsford-based firm, The Asher Group. “Hyper-Reach” allows the 911 Center to quickly send a recorded message to telephones in specific areas and alert residents to any emergency situations that may require immediate action. The system is designed to deliver more than 5000 calls per hour and has been successfully used on a number of occasions for incidents such as hazardous chemical releases, missing persons and barricaded persons. The “Hyper-Reach” message delivers critical information to residents and provides guidance on what precautions need to be taken by residents during and after the incident.

All hard-wired telephones in Monroe County are automatically listed to receive these alerts, however, there is no central registry of mobile telephones so individuals need to register them in order to receive the alerts. To date, more than 10,000 mobile telephone users have signed up for the service - a small portion of the cellular telephones in use.

“The number of people who are dependent on their mobile telephone is climbing at an amazing rate,” Director Merklinger said. “Over two-thirds of the calls made to 911 come from these devices.”

According to the CTIA, a telecommunications provider association, 91% of the population is using some form of mobile device with 24.5% of households eliminating their hard-wire telephone in favor of wireless only.

To register a mobile telephone to receive Hyper-Reach notifications, go to www.911rochester.com and follow the Hyper-Reach registration link. Registration takes only takes a minute and all information is kept confidential. Users have the option of receiving an audio message, text message or both along with an email alert. If a user moves, they can use the same method to update their address.

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News Media: For more information, contact John Merklinger at 585-528-2207.

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