RM of Grey gets first Alert Ready Messages to landline phone

Provincial and territorial emergency management systems will send test signals to your wireless device Wednesday, as well as to radio and TV stations. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

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Plagued by poor cellular phone service the Rural Municipality of Grey is now the first community across the country to receive automated Alert Ready emergency messages on landline phones as well as their cellular devices as the community struggles with cellular dead zones.

“The ability to make landline phones ring is significant in rural and remote areas with limited cellular coverage. Furthermore, the messages can now get out to the elderly and those without a cellular phone,” boasted Rural Municipality of Grey Reeve, Ray Franzmann.

Last week’s Alert Ready test was automatically broadcast to landline phones in the Rural Municipality of Grey. This is a Canadian first for Canada’s emergency alert system Alert Ready. Many rural communities across Canada lack the necessary infrastructure to receive Alert Ready messages from Canada’s new emergency alerting system. However, new technology now provides every community in the country with the ability to receive automated emergency messages on landline phones.

The first of its kind technology ensures:
• Canadians without cell phones (Elderly, disabled and infirm) can receive “automated” emergency alert messages.
• Rural, northern and remote communities with limited or no cellular coverage can now have alert messages broadcast to their residents on their landline phones.
• All emergency alerts are now automated with no need for local action to disseminate an emergency alert.
• Alerts issued at night will now go out to affected residents by making both cell and landline phones ring.

The new service “Connect” was developed in Winnipeg, Manitoba and is integrated with Canada’s national emergency alert system (Alert Ready). The service provides municipal staff with the ability to send out information to people on their chosen communication services including landline phones.

“While Alert Ready will broadcast emergency alerts by mobile phones, “Connect” now provides communities with the ability to receive emergency messages without a cellular phone,” said All-Net.ca Managing Partner, Vern Sabeski.

Approximately 35% of municipal governments in Manitoba are already using “Connect” for their regular daily communication and accounts will be updated in the weeks ahead to include the latest feature.

“Connect” provides municipal staff with one central platform to send out messages in any format and residents can register and declare how they want to receive information. All new accounts come with a community’s phone directory pre-loaded and emergency alerts go out to every phone number (landline and mobile).

Additional Information

  • Along with emergency alerting “Connect” provides municipal governments with the ability to communicate with residents on a regular basis and on multiple platforms including text, e-mail, mobile phones, websites and landline phones.
    • “Connect” was recently cited in the Province of Alberta when the community of Barrhead received the Minister’s Award for Municipal Excellence.
    • “Connect” runs on its own service connected to the NAAD system (Alert Ready) for the dissemination of all emergency alerts in Canada. This provides them with the ability to send out messages on landline phones to notify the elderly and those not in a cell phone region.
    • The Rural Municipality of Grey is located approximately 40 KM’s southwest of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
    • The NAAD system collects and validates emergency alerts from authorized government agencies throughout Canada and makes them available to the public.
    • All information on “Connect” is stored and backed up in Canada.
    • “Connect” is Canadian technology developed in Winnipeg, Manitoba.