Reverse 911 calling system debuted during search for missing Logan man

A search for a missing Logan man Wednesday gave Cache emergency officials their first chance to test a new reverse 911 system.The Logan Dispatch Center received Northern Utah Homeland Security Grant several months ago for the reverse 911 technology — a computer system that will call known phone numbers in a geographical area to alert residents about an emergency — but waited until the dispatch center was moved into the new Logan Justice Building to install it.When a 75-year-old Logan man went missing Wednesday morning, however, the incident commander over the search decided to give the system a try. Within minutes, nearly 900 phone numbers in the area of southwest Logan were called broadcasting a message about the missing person, and the system successfully connected with 73 percent of those numbers, Randy Auman, director of the Logan Dispatch Center said.”We needed to test it and we’d never been able to run an actual test on it,” Auman said. “It’s pretty good.”Search crews found the missing man, Jose Uvaldo Gonzalez, at about noon and it’s not believed the phone calls helped in the search, but if there ever were a gas leak, missing child or other emergency, the reverse 911 system could certainly be useful.”You can use it to call out detectives or SWAT or firemen or anybody you’d like,” Auman said, noting that it will only be used to call homes during emergencies. The one fallback to the system, Auman said, is that it doesn’t automatically call cell phones, however in the coming weeks, the police department will roll out a program to allow residents to register their cell phones to their home addresses so they can receive calls on their cell phones if there are emergencies at their homes.

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