By Beth David, Editor
The Fairhaven Selectboard received a presentation from the Fire Department on 4/13/20, to explain the new communication system, RAVE, which allows residents to opt in for a variety of alerts the town might send out for emergencies.
The system is more sophisticated than the well-known reverse 911 systems. RAVE allows residents to opt in for specific events, such as weather alerts, minor fire/hazmat events (all major events would be town-wide notification); health department advisories; police, marine, water and sewer department advisories.
The system also allows for alerts specific to each of the Housing Authority properties.
Residents can register a landline, email address, and cell phone to receive alerts by email, text and voice call. Residents can add additional phone numbers, an emergency contact, pet information, and vehicle information.
Deputy Fire Chief Todd Correia told the board that he was working with Cable Access Director Derek Frates to create videos to notify the public of the system.
The system also allows for more than one person to be notified.
If there is a “hostile event in your neighborhood,” said Mr. Correia, the system would not only call the house, but it would alert parents at work, so they can direct the school or their children who may be leaving school to shelter somewhere else.
The system also allows town departments to send messages to each other.
Mr. Correia said the lists are still being created. Residents and departments can choose the alerts they want.
The system also allows the town to see who received the messages and how long it took. Most receive the message in one second.
To sign up, users will need to visit the website and sign up with a user ID and password. The password is necessary, said Mr. Correia, because users can share personal medical information on the site.
He told the board that the information will make it possible for the department to search a neighborhood by need. In a disaster, first responders will be able to check in on people who have noted a person who is disabled or needs special assistance to evacuate.
“I think it’s very, very powerful,” said Selectboard member Bob Espindola. “I like the way people can opt in or as little as they want.”
Selectboard member Daniel Freitas said he was familiar with the system, and liked it because it can target people who need special help.
“It’s a great system,” he said. “I hope most people sign up.”
Selectboard Chairperson Charles Murphy said he was already sign up, and was getting some of his clients who have special needs to sign up.
Visit the fire department’s web page on the town’s website at https://www.fairhaven-ma.gov/fire-department-ems-ema
If anyone has trouble navigating the system, Mr. Correia said they may call him at the station and he will help them get through it.
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