Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

March 18, 2014

Text alerts with school spirit

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — The call is out for any and all residents in Garvin County who signed up for emergency text alerts in the past to do it all over again.

The alert system through the county’s 911 dispatch center sends text messages out warning residents of impending danger.

Put simply the online program through Nixle allows residents to receive high alert notifications for free through their cell phones.

The problem is all residents signing up the last couple of years are no longer getting the alerts they expect thanks to a computer crash.

That’s why Garvin County’s 911 coordinator Doug Walling is encouraging everyone to sign up again.

It’s a way for them to again receive the alerts, while at the same time the system gets caught up again after all the data was lost.

“Anybody who joined prior to 2014 needs to rejoin,” Walling said. “Everyone needs to rejoin.”

Originally the service was seen as a way to allow emergency responders to mass text each other.

It later turned into something allowing residents throughout the county to be notified when an emergency occurs.

The alerts can pertain to weather advisories or Amber alerts when a child is lost or any crime alarms in general.

“It’s used mostly for severe weather but it can be used in other situations,” he said.

“We can get the information out a lot quicker. It’s good solid information that goes out to the public in a timely manner.”

The best part is people can join for as many areas of the county as they wish.

Adding to that is school spirit as residents sign up by using the mascots of each school from the areas where they want the alerts.

To sign up type the town mascot to 888777 with the option to be notified up to five communities in the county.

As an example, those living in Pauls Valley who would like to receive the text alerts would type in Panthers along with the six numbers.

The mascots for other towns in the county are Pugs for Paoli, Savages for Wynnewood, Bulldogs for Stratford, Badgers for Elmore City, Warriors for Maysville and Leopards for Lindsay.

“You can join as many areas as you want,” Walling added.

To make sure people know the text alerts are coming from the right place, messages sent will be identified as coming from Garvin County 911.