DALTON -- Dalton, Hinsdale and Windsor are the latest Berkshire communities to activate a high-tech system to alert residents about emergencies in their towns.
The CodeRED program, which officially went online Wednesday, will automatically call more than 3,000 homes and businesses with public telephone numbers in the three communities to alert people of evacuations, road closures, severe weather and other serious situations, according to the towns' emergency officials.
"We have a lot of traffic on Route 9 and you never know what's going to spill due to an accident," said Windsor Police Chief Peter Pyskaty, also the town's emergency management director.
"We have the railroad going through our town," added Hinsdale Emergency Management Director Ray Bolduc. "What's on those tracks can be scary."
The system is similar to the CodeRED launched in North Adams and Pittsfield in September of 2012. Williamstown is now the only of the county's 32 cities and towns that does not have phone alert capabilities.
"The fact that Pittsfield has it is good, because if our [dispatch] system goes down, Pittsfield is our back-up,"
In addition, the advanced emergency notification systems allow people to receive emergency alerts via cellphone, email and text. Dalton, Hinsdale and Windsor residents can sign up through the Dalton town website.
"Over 300 people already went online [Wednesday] to register additional numbers, which can also include work numbers outside the call area," Filiault said.
Dalton, Hinsdale and Windsor collaborated at a total cost of $5,600 to install the system at the Dalton emergency dispatch center, which also serves the other two towns. CodeRED replaces an older system that was in place since 2006 and was limited to using land lines, according to Filiault.
To reach Dick Lindsay
or (413) 496-6233