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emergency response
OmnilertDec 1, 2011 1:33:05 PM6 min read

Responders Can Now Reply to Emergency Dispatch Messages with ETA

Product demonstrations of all new Amerilert First Responder features available at NOVA Fire Expo booth #604


From the NOVA Fire Expo, Amerilert® announced the latest release of Amerilert First Responder version 4.0, the leading text messaging based emergency dispatch service for fire departments and other first responders. The most important new feature is the ability for fire fighters to reply to SMS text message alerts with a response, such as their estimated time of arrival. Because of the critical nature of this technology amidst increasing budget constraints, Amerilert also announced new lower pricing. Product demonstrations are available in Amerilert booth #604 at the Northern Virginia Fire Rescue & EMS Expo in Chantilly, Va. from December 2-4.

“We plan to use the new Amerilert reply function to quickly give us a better idea of how many people are responding to an emergency,” stated Jim McGarva, Assistant Fire Chief at the City of Tumwater Fire Department near Olympia, Wash. “It will ease our mind knowing who is coming and when they’re going to be here. It will really help us with the planning cycle, so when we setup our incident action plan for the next work cycle, we’ll know we have 3 more people coming in, for example, and can assign them to a rig instead of just not knowing.

“We also run the city’s emergency management group through Amerilert, which includes non-fire department responders like the city administrator, public works people, and some of the police staff. When we have a situation that is going to effect the operations of the city, we’re able to send out an alert to that group and have them come to our emergency operations center. Once we have the call-back function, we’ll know if they got the message and when they’ll arrive.

“I have seen an increase in our call-backs since we switched from two-tone pagers to Amerilert. Our fire fighters like having the convenience of getting the text messages over their personal cell phones so they don’t have to carry a bulky secondary two-tone pager. We tried a couple of different programs and nothing was reliable until we found Amerilert. We use it for a secondary paging device to reach off duty crew if we have a large incident or we need to call back staff. The Amerilert messages deliver as fast as, and sometimes faster than the two-tone pagers. Therefore, we have stopped issuing two-tone pagers and just rely on Amerilert. It’s more convenient, more reliable, and much easier to operate.”

“The Amerilert coverage is also better for narrowband compliance than the two-tone pagers. For those of us who struggle with technology, it is an easy system to use – if I can do it, then just about anybody else can, that’s for sure! We’re coming up on our second year of service with Amerilert and we’ve had no issues. The service is very reliable. Even with power outages, it’s been very consistent. We can count on Amerilert.”

The fire fighter’s responses appear within Amerilert’s cloud-based console so there is nothing new to install. Responses can be viewed from anywhere, including the mobile computers within a rig. The new release also includes a newly redesigned mobile phone interface for quickly dispatching messages from the scene. Existing Amerilert clients should call their account manager to activate the new optional reply function. Setup takes less than 10 minutes. There is no extra cost for the reply option.

Pricing and Availability
All services are available today for purchase directly or through authorized resellers. New lower Amerilert pricing starts at $3 per person per month for a client with 25 people or less. The larger the organization, the lower the unit pricing becomes. The CAD Pack option is now included free. This option enables emergency dispatch messages to come directly from the PSAP, 911 center, or central dispatch center, in addition to coming directly from the fire station using the Amerilert web console or from the scene using the optimized mobile interface.

About Amerilert
Amerilert is the leading interactive safety communication system for mid-sized businesses, non-profits and government clients. Services include Safe Towns, Enterprise, First Responder, uAlert, uTip, uConference, and Hotline. The award-winning flagship service, uAlert, enables non-technical staff to send custom or predefined messages from one simple interface to thousands of people anywhere, anytime, on any device for improved crisis communications, emergency management, business continuity, disaster recovery, and crime solving. Amerilert is used by the U.S. Army, Defense Logistics Agency, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Bayer, Mazda, Philadelphia Zoo, and fire departments across America. To learn more, visit

About Omnilert
Omnilert, LLC develops intuitive communication technologies that keep communities safe and connected. The company’s flagship service is a Tier-1 unified mass notification system that enables a single person to communicate timely information to thousands of people anywhere, anytime, on any device or service. The award-winning company's 6,000 clients include the U.S. Army, Bayer, Mazda, sanofi-aventis, Arizona State University, Penn State, Marine Corps Marathon, YMCA, American Red Cross, and UNICEF. Omnilert solutions are sold under the brand names e2Campus, Amerilert, and RainedOut. The privately held company is headquartered in Leesburg, Va., and at www.omnilert.comonline.