Washington County emergency responders urge public to opt-in to safety alerts

Stock image | Photo by Poike/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE —Washington County emergency leaders once again remind the public they can receive brief and timely safety notifications sent directly to their cell phone using the county’s Everbridge Mass Notification System.

Photo by
Feodora Chiosea, iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

According to a press release issued by county officials, by texting “WASHCOES” to 888777 people can sign-up for short, informational text alerts sent by Washington County Emergency Management Services. The information provided will be regarding current incidents such as wildfires and other natural disasters.

This service played a pivotal role last summer when wildfires threatened structures like homes, businesses, and roads —including Interstate-15, the release states.

Washington County Emergency Management Services is working with the Southwest Public Health Department to distribute similar information in regard to COVID-19 vaccine availability. Those interested in information regarding time and location of vaccine clinics can text SWUHEALTH to 888777 to receive those informational alerts.

Individuals who opt into the texting service may opt-out at any time. Their phone numbers are kept completely confidential and alerts will only be sent when emergency responders need to share critical safety information with the public.

Stock image by Milovan Zrnic/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

Being aware of active safety incidents and steering clear of them not only keeps individual members of the public safe but also protects society at-large because first-responders can then neutralize threats more quickly, Jason Bradley, emergency operation manager for Washington County Emergency Services, said.

“Just by being aware, the public can be a great help to first responders,” he said.

The Everbridge Mass Notification System is supplemental to the county’s Reverse 911 program. The Reverse 911 program allows residents in targeted geographic areas to receive ongoing emergency communications. This means if you live in or near an area affected by a natural disaster or other emergency and have to be evacuated, emergency responders can contact you, specifically with updates as events unfold in your neighborhood.

We encourage members of the public to sign-up for both systems as they serve two distinct, but important roles. Registration for the latter can be found at 911register.com.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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