Regional alert: Cooper covers Philly

Cooper Notification installs its seventh and ‘nation's largest' regional alerting system
Thursday, May 1, 2008

LAS VEGAS-Mass notification systems are not just for college campuses, Cooper Notification executives said here during an April 2 briefing at ISC West. Further, campus shootings are indeed a tragic epidemic, but they're not the only reason campuses or other locations install these systems.
"Weather events, chemical spills, or a college football game are real events [where mass notifications systems can be invaluable]," said Ken Camarco, president of Cooper Notification.
While the education vertical is an important market for Cooper, Jim McDaniel, vice president of marketing and business development, provided a very long list of its customers, which included government, military, health care, manufacturing and commercial installations.
During the briefing, Camarco and McDaniel announced that Cooper would launch on April 4 what they called the "nation's largest regional alerting system," which will enable six counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to send text messages to the public in an emergency. This interoperable regional alerting system (called Roam Secure Alert Network) can alert more than five million citizens in five counties, which is the fifth largest metropolitan area in the country. Residents of the area were invited to sign up for the system via a Web site.
This is the second stage of launch; in the first stage (Aug. 2007), the system was introduced to emergency management and public safety officials in the Southeastern Counter Terrorism Task Force.
The regional platform is fully integrated with the Roam Secure Information Exchange.
"This allows the college and local businesses to connect with the local community platform," Camarco explained. Cooper customer Villanova University can tie into the local county system, for example. Likewise, a large oil and gas refinery in Paulsboro, N.J., is integrated into its local county system.
This is the seventh major U.S. city to deploy a Cooper system. New Orleans, San Francisco and Washington D.C. already have systems.
"Implementing a public warning system that transcends county lines will make our region better prepared for any kind of emergency," John Whelan, Delaware County Council vice chair said in a statement.
Camarco and McDaniel talked a lot about Cooper's "layered approach," which is designed to "protect, alert and inform" large groups of people. "Cooper Notification's indoor systems are all fire alarm compatible and they are scalable. They can be built modularly on top of the existing fire alarm system, or exist standalone. The wireless outdoor systems and regional text alerting can be similarly integrated to create a comprehensive notification solution," Camarco said.Customers often "start with a speaker array installed in an area of the highest congregation of people,"McDaniel said. SSN