Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Announces Funding for Important Public Safety Projects in Communities Below the Wolf Creek Dam

Press Release Date:  Thursday, February 08, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Jason Keller

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher today announced that several communities in Russell, Cumberland, Clinton and Monroe Counties will receive important early warning system equipment. Communities in each county will be provided a reverse 911 system, while a number of local citizens and businesses will be supplied with weather radios. Additionally, the counties will receive an upgrade to their 911 systems by installing “enhanced” 911 in each county. Enhanced 911 provides 911 dispatchers with caller information on 911 calls.

“I am committed to ensuring the public health and safety of every citizen, business, and visitor to Lake Cumberland while preserving the great quality of life in the region,” said Governor Ernie Fletcher. “Public safety in the Wolf Creek Dam area is our top priority and this equipment will enable a more efficient emergency response to any potential natural or man-made emergency involving these communities.”

Reverse 911 systems improve the lines of communication to the general population and targeted groups. Reverse 911 users such as local emergency response personnel can quickly target a precise geographic area and saturate it with thousands of calls per hour. The system’s interactive technology provides immediate interaction with recipients and aids in rapid response to specific needs. Users can also create a list of individuals with common characteristics (such as a Neighborhood Crime Watch group or emergency responder teams) and contact them with helpful information as needed.

Weather Radios continuously broadcasts National Weather Service forecasts, warnings and other crucial weather information. The radios can be programmed to receive information specific to a certain area, using the Specific Area Message Encoder (SAME) feature, and can sound an alarm to alert users of approaching dangerous weather. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Weather Radio is the lone government- operated radio system that provides direct warnings to the public for natural and man- made hazards, from floods to forest fires, to oil spills. It also is the primary trigger for activating America’s Emergency Alert System on commercial radio and television stations.

Additionally, the citizens and businesses of each county directly below the Wolf Creek Dam currently have access only to “Basic 911.” These funds will provide for an upgrade to “Enhanced 911” (E911), improving the effectiveness and reliability of landline and wireless 911 services by providing 911 dispatchers with additional information on 911 calls.

The equipment will be paid for by Kentucky Office of Homeland Security funds.

“It is critical that we provide local emergency personnel in these communities with the ability to communicate effectively with the public during an emergency,” said (Ret) Maj. Alecia Webb-Edgington, director of the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security. “Improving public safety is our number one goal as we work to implement a strategy based on preparedness for all emergencies: natural or man-made.”