Friends,

WHEN SECONDS COUNT; AND MEMBERS OF OUR COMMUNITY ARE AT RISK AND NEED TO BE NOTIFIED…
NIXLE IS ON OUR SIDE !!

 One of my concerns when elected as Commissioner of Public Health and Safety and as Assistant Fire Chief; was the emergency notifications of residents within the city and the fire protection district in the event of a tornado or an incident at the nuclear power plant.  As a child I recall being told that the Illinois Valley was safe because the likelihood of a tornado striking in a valley was nil. Well, that myth, was certainly unproven when a tornado struck Utica and resulted in numerous fatalities. I also knew that for Marseilles residents the blowing of the fire siren, at best, was inadequate and antiquated.

Mayor Trager and I both had the opportunity to attend meetings in regards to the Nixle, an extremely high speed emergency telephone communication service that will deliver a customized prerecorded emergency message directly to homes, businesses and cell phones within a designated Nixle community at the rate of 60,000 calls per hour. This service is commonly referred to as a “reverse 911”.  In meetings with Nixle and Marseilles Telephone Company it was determined that Marseilles residents could be alerted of a situation in approximately 5-6 minutes in the unfortunate event of an imminent tornado, an incident at the nuclear power plant, or other natural or man made disaster. Other uses of the Nixle can be notification of road closures, school cancellations, missing children or elderly persons, as well as any situation whereby community help and thousands of eyes can be an asset to officials.  

Subsequent to a presentation at a city council meeting Mayor Trager and I received unanimous support from fellow council members Bob Davis, Jim Buckingham and Cheryl O’Brien; as well as Police Chief Jim Hovious, Fire Chief Mick Garrison and Ambulance Director Roger Enrico.  

Nixle has been implemented and we hope to have as many community members as possible sign up for Nixle alerts.

Approximately 65% of known phone numbers will be taken from databases and installed by Nixle.  Residents whom have unlisted numbers or would like notification via cell phone can go to the Nixle Web Site and enter numbers they would like to be notified on.  Residents needing assistance will be able to receive information at city hall or the police department.  A form will be available and if you would like our telecommunicaters to enter the information we will be more than happy to do.

Residents will also have the option of being on a do not call list if for some reason they don’t want to be notified of an incident.

I as well as my fellow emergency service workers and council members will have peace of mind that are residents are covered by one of the best systems available.

If you would like further information please click on the Nixle Link above.

I would also note that the village of Utica this year became a Nixle community as did LaSalle, Peru and Oglesby.  I also know that Utica utilized their Nixle recently when the town was being flooded by the Illinois River.  Reports I have received is that the alert notification went flawlessly and was a great help to emergency workers.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely yours,

Jim Hollenbeck
Mayor
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