The Glenview Public Safety Dispatch Center partners with the Cook County Department of Emergency Management and Regional Security to use FEMA Public Alert Warning System
Cook County Commissioner Scott Britton today announced a new partnership between the Glenview Public Safety Dispatch Center (GPSDC) and the Cook County Department of Emergency Management and Regional Security (EMRS) to transmit emergency mobile alerts to communities in the northern suburbs faster. Utilizing the Integrated Public Alerting Warning System (IPAWS) system, the GPSDC will now be able to directly transmit authenticated wireless messages that advance public safety.
This is the first Cook County dispatch center to leverage IPAWS outside of Chicago. GPSDC’s utilization of the IPAWS system will allow these important, potentially life-saving messages to be sent nearly 10 minutes faster.
“In the case of an extreme weather event or, I dread to think, if we are faced with a mass casualty event that threatens the well-being of the public, getting information to the public quickly and efficiently is paramount. I applaud the Glenview Consolidated Dispatch Center for accessing the IPAWS system. Through IPAWS and so many other programs, Cook County continues to ensure municipalities have the resources they need to keep residents safe and informed,” said Commissioner Scott Britton during a tour of GPSDC Monday morning.
The IPAWS program was created in 2006 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It allows Federal, State, Tribal, Territorial, and Local Alerting Authorities, like GPSDC, to send geographically targeted alerts that quickly inform the public of impending natural and man-made disasters, or other hazards to public safety and well-being. Messages from Local Alerting Authorities are verified through the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Open Platform for Emergency Networks (IPAWS-OPEN). Verified alerts are sent to residents via Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) that are received by mobile phones.
“Wireless Emergency Alerting is a critically important tool for sharing urgent information with the public during an evolving crisis event,” said Ted Berger, executive director of Cook County’s Department of Emergency Management and Regional Security. “This partnership with GPSDC is yet another example of how we are working together across the region to further enhance response and recovery capabilities to help ensure the safety of our residents.”
GPSDC’s participation in the IPAWS system is a result of successful application, along with many hours of training and meetings to coordinate with EMRS. GPSDC has developed a IPAWS standard operating guideline, which was presented to EMRS in May of this year.
GPSDC currently dispatches to police and fire services in 14 north suburban communities and has two dispatch centers. The 10 member communities who will be implementing the IPAWS alerts immediately include the Villages of Glencoe, Glenview, Hainseville, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Morton Grove, Northfield, and Winnetka.