Emergency Management Ontario (EMO), now has the ability to issue Red Alerts more widely in the case of impending, life-threatening emergencies, over the province’s TV airwaves thanks to a partnership with Pelmorex Communications and CHCH Television.
The province is using Pelmorex’s National Alert Aggregation & Dissemination System to distribute its emergency “Red Alerts” to broadcasters across the province. CHCH in Hamilton/Toronto is the first over-the-air TV broadcaster to participate in the program, having already broadcast demonstration messages issued by the province on several occasions.
“The beefed up Red Alert system will be more effective in warning Ontario families of impending emergencies,” said Jim Bradley, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, of the new program.
The Red Alerts are part of Ontario’s Emergency Public Warning System and were first introduced in 2008. Red Alerts are issued when three key criteria are met:
* A municipality or provincial ministry confirms that an incident is occurring and the information has been validated by EMO
* The emergency poses an immediate threat to the life, safety and property of Ontarians in a specific area of the province
* The alert is necessary to inform Ontarians of the danger and tell them what protective measures and other actions can be taken to protect themselves and their family
“As owners of The Weather Network and MétéoMédia, we were the first to broadcast Ontario’s “Red Alerts” using the new system. “We understand the importance of getting critical, life saving information to our viewers as soon as possible, said Paul Temple, SVP Regulatory and Strategic Affairs, Pelmorex Communications. “And now other broadcasters such as CHCH are also showing leadership by using the system.”
“The entire process was simple to implement and allows CHCH to automatically pass on critical life-saving information to its viewers any time of day. It’s a great way for CHCH to contribute to the safety of the communities it serves,” said Chris Fuoco, Vice President, Sales & Marketing.
Trispec Communications, a respected technology provider and engineering firm, provided the necessary technical interface to allow CHCH-TV to access and display the alert messages over its broadcast signal. “The work with Pelmorex and CHCH-TV proves that there are simple, cost-effective ways for broadcasters to access and display Ontario’s Red Alert emergency messages,” said Nigel Smith, Director of Business Development.
* Red Alerts are passed through the NAAD System unaltered in just seconds
* There is no fee or charge to access the Red Alerts
* Red Alerts are available over the NAAD system to any TV broadcaster, cable company, radio station, newsroom and website throughout Ontario
* Broadcasters have complete control over content and timing of the Red Alert broadcast
Read more about the National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination System.