Emergency warning systems to be installed at critical facilities

Tortola, VI, May 19, 2010 (DDM) - Engineers from viaRadio Corporation are in the Territory to commence the installation of warning devices within a number of critical facilities including schools, police stations, clinics, national parks posts and fire stations.

The new components will offer an alerting system which provides almost instantaneous messaging to persons who are indoors and are unable to hear the outdoor sirens located throughout the Territory.

 

 

The engineers will be working with staff at the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) and will provide training for maintaining and operating the units. Ms. Tracy Moffett of viaRadio said, "We are pleased to be expanding ENVOY emergency warning systems in the Caribbean by installing the viaRadio system in the Virgin Islands. This viaRadio system will give the DDM the ability to immediately warn schools, first responders and other emergency personnel in the event of natural or manmade disasters. We hope ENVOY prevents the loss of lives, injuries and emergency situations that may occur."

Ms. Moffett is accompanied by Mr. William Marriott, who will be undertaking the installation and ensuring the functionality of all units.

At a press conference held on February 16 at the Leonora Delville Primary School, Minister for Education and Culture Honourable Andrew Fahie announced the installation of the radio units in all primary and secondary schools, both public and private throughout the Territory.  Minister Fahie said he was pleased that a project of this importance was being implemented in the Territory and thanked the DDM for pursing efforts to ensure the safety of residents.

On January 26, 2010 the DDM signed an agreement with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to access funding in the amount of approximately US$17,000.00 to purchase the major components of the viaRadio system as well as to secure 45 units to be installed at selected sites throughout the Territory.

During this week, secure servers will be installed at radio stations ZKING and ZROD and will serve as the main hub for transmitting signals to the various units at the critical facilities. The units will be able to provide a warning tone accompanied by a message. The message will provide specific instructions to key personnel of actions they should take in the event of a natural and technological hazard impact or for informational purposes. The message can also be transmitted in English or Spanish.

The viaRadio units will allow for mass notification and can also be further linked to mobile telephones and e-mail systems for simultaneous alerting, options which are under consideration for future use.

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