Telephone Alert System Tested

The Aspen Pitkin County Communications Center (APCCC) recently tested its emergency telephone alert system in Aspen’s west end, Snowmass Village, Woody Creek, Missouri Heights, Frying Pan, and the Crystal Valley/Marble areas. A total of 5,300 phone lines were included in the test with up to a 95% completion rate in certain areas. Although the results from this test were encouraging, it illustrated the need for community members to take action if they want to receive these types of notifications.

 

“What we learned from this test is that the system works well, but we need to educate the public about what they can do to increase their chances of getting critical information in an emergency,” said Pitkin County Sheriff, Joe DiSalvo, whose office oversees the APCCC.

 

A majority of phones tested were not properly prepared to receive these notifications. The county currently contracts with Twenty First Century Communications (TFCC) telephone alert system for these services. Although this system worked well during the test, over 50% of the calls placed by TFCC went unanswered by recipients.

 

Citizens are encouraged to proactively combat this issue by installing answering machines and disabling caller ID blocking, two of the main reasons that calls were missed. It is also important to have a direct phone line running to a corded phone, as cordless phones will not work during a power outage. TFCC also does not work with IP or PBX phone lines, so citizens are encouraged to check with thier carriers to determine what type of phone line they have.

 

In addition to TFCC, the county utilizes Pitkin Alert to notify individuals via text messaging, email, pager, and voice, the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to reach citizens by radio and television, and the www.pitkinemergency.org website to reach citizens via the web with real-time updates. Additional details about signing up for Pitkin Alert, building a go kit, and creating an evacuation plan are available on this website.

 

Full Telephone Alert System test results as follows:  

 

Aspen West End Test

Total phone numbers selected for test = 753 (1050 - with 2nd retry on 1st call failure).  Failure is defined as Busy Signal, Fax Machine, No Answer or Network Error.

Results:

Answering Machine:  284  =  27%

Calls Answered by a human:  195  =  19%

Busy Signal/Fax/No Answer:  533  =  50%

Actual Failures:  38  =  3.6%


 

By removing the “Busy Signal/Fax/No Answer” stats, the success rate is 93% and the failure rate is 7%.


 

Crystal and Marble Test

Total phone numbers selected for test = 557 (695 - with 2nd retry on 1st call failure).  Failure is defined as Busy Signal, Fax Machine, No Answer or Network Error.

Results:

Answering Machine:  273  =  39%

Calls Answered by a human:  161  =  23%

Busy Signal/Fax/No Answer:  240  =  35%

Actual Failures:  21  =  3%


 

By removing the “Busy Signal/Fax/No Answer” stats, the success rate is 95% and the failure rate is 5%.

 

Missouri Heights/Eljebel Test

Total phone numbers selected for test = 603 (743 - with 2nd retry on 1st call failure).  Failure is defined as Busy Signal, Fax Machine, No Answer or Network Error.

Results:

Answering Machine:   301 =  41%

Calls Answered by a human:  186  =  25%

Busy Signal/Fax/No Answer: 233   =  31%

Actual Failures:  23  =  3%


 

By removing the “Busy Signal/Fax/No Answer” stats, the success rate is 95% and the failure rate is 5%.


 

Frying Pan Test

Total phone numbers selected for test = 364 (492 - with 2nd retry on 1st call failure).  Failure is defined as Busy Signal, Fax Machine, No Answer or Network Error.

Results:

Answering Machine:   144 =  29%

Calls Answered by a human:  102  =  21%

Busy Signal/Fax/No Answer:  223  =  45%

Actual Failures:  23  =  5%


 

By removing the “Busy Signal/Fax/No Answer” stats, the success rate is 91% and the failure rate is 9%.

 

Woody Creek Rd Test

Total phone numbers selected for test = 131 (199 - with 2nd retry on 1st call failure).  Failure is defined as Busy Signal, Fax Machine, No Answer or Network Error.

Results:

Answering Machine:   33 =  17%

Calls Answered by a human:  38   =  19%

Busy Signal/Fax/No Answer:  97  =  49%

Actual Failures:  31  =  16%


 

By removing the “Busy Signal/Fax/No Answer” stats, the success rate is 70% and the failure rate is 30%.


 

Snowmass Village Test

Total phone numbers selected for test = 2917 (4083 - with 2nd retry on 1st call failure).  Failure is defined as Busy Signal, Fax Machine, No Answer or Network Error.

Results:

Answering Machine:  1272  =  31%

Calls Answered by a human:   615  =  15%


 

Busy Signal/Fax/No Answer:  2023  =  50%

Actual Failures:   173 =  4%


 

By removing the “Busy Signal/Fax/No Answer” stats, the success rate is 92% and the failure rate is 8%.

 

 Test Totals

Total phone numbers selected for test = 5325 (7262 - with 2nd retry on 1st call failure).  Failure is defined as Busy Signal, Fax Machine, No Answer or Network Error.

Results:

Answering Machine:  2307  =  32%

Calls Answered by a human:  1297  =  18%

Busy Signal/Fax/No Answer:  3349  =  46%

Actual Failures:   309  =  4%


 

By removing the “Busy Signal/Fax/No Answer” stats, the success rate is 92% and the failure rate is 8%.





 


Posted on Monday, July 09, 2012