Emergencies

Emergency management officials in Johnston County are launching a local emergency alert system. The county has paired with the company Code Red in an effort to improve response time to natural disasters. Emergency Management coordinator Darrell Alford says the system also warns residents about localized emergencies like boil-water advisories or pipeline bursts.

Surry County communications operators are testing a developing 911 call system to improve emergency response networks. A grant program is funding a test system called Next Generation 911 from Greensboro-based Synergem Emergency Services. Surry County communications director Roger Shore says the system allows 911 operators to field calls more efficiently.

State senators have passed a bill that would allow law enforcement agencies to release transcripts or altered voice reproductions of 911 calls, instead of the original recordings.

Under state law, the names and addresses of 911 callers must be withheld from released recordings of those calls. But their voices are sometimes recognizable to criminal perpetrators, says Democrat Floyd McKissick of Durham.

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