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Decatur City Council approves new communications tool

By Brian Knox | Published Wednesday, December 13, 2017
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The Decatur City Council Monday approved a new public safety communications tool that could provide critical information to first responders in an emergency.

Police Chief Rex Hoskins requested the council approve a contract with Rave 911 Suite, which actually includes two parts, he explained.

First, the system will allow emergency notifications, such as severe storm warnings, to be sent out not only by phone, email and text like the current system, but also through social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

The second component is a Smart911 feature that allows residents who sign up to provide information such as any medical issues, medication you might be taking, medical issues of family members and even a photo of yourself.

Hoskins said this type of system could be very helpful now that many people use cell phones in place of land lines.

“Now we’ll have the ability to know who we are talking to,” Hoskins said. “Because when we get a 911 call from cell phone, we have a phone number and a (general) location, but with this system we’re going to have names, and we’re going to have an actual location. We will have your home address and business address.”

The ability to include medical information about other family members was also a key feature, Hoskins said.

“One thing that sold us on this, you can register your family members with dementia,” he said. “We can pull up a photo if they are lost so we know who we’re looking for.”

The system would cost the city $7,000 per year, plus a one-time $1,000 set-up fee. Citizens will be able to sign up for free.

The council unanimously approved the request.

In other business, the council:

  • cast its 183 votes for Gerre Joiner in the Wise County Appraisal District board of directors election;
  • approved a lease agreement with BelWave Communications, a Fort Worth-based internet service provider, for a ground and tower lease at the Rose Avenue elevated storage tank; and
  • approved a request by the Wise County Youth Fair to hold a parade Feb. 24, 2018.

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