Cassidian Communications Names City of Grand Prairie, Texas, as REVERSE 911® Certified Location

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• Seventh largest city in Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex better prepared to communicate with responders and local residents in contingencies • Emergency notification solution, deployed December 2010, proves invaluable during icy Super Bowl XLV, January 2011

The City of Grand Prairie purchased the REVERSE 911® emergency notification system to give us the ability to communicate emergency instructions to our citizens and businesses in a timely manner

Cassidian Communications (formerly PlantCML®), an EADS North America company, today announced its selection by the City of Grand Prairie, Texas, as its provider of emergency notification technology. With installation of the nationally acclaimed REVERSE 911® system completed in December 2010, the city has joined hundreds of public safety operations across the U.S. as an official REVERSE 911® certified location.

This distinction signifies a continuous state of readiness to share information or instruction with local residents and emergency response teams should any situation threaten public safety. For Grand Prairie, these events may include inclement weather, hazardous materials incidents, health risks, utility failures and civil disorders. It also can be utilized in the issuance of Amber and Silver alerts, when help from the community may potentially lead to the safe return of a missing child or senior.

“The City of Grand Prairie purchased the REVERSE 911® emergency notification system to give us the ability to communicate emergency instructions to our citizens and businesses in a timely manner so that our community members can take appropriate actions to protect themselves during an emergency or disaster,” said Tonya Hunter, emergency management coordinator for the City of Grand Prairie Office of Emergency Management.

Grand Prairie, Texas, which spans Dallas, Tarrant, Ellis and Johnson Counties, is home to nearly 175,000 people, making it the seventh largest city in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. It is the 15th largest city in the state of Texas, and the sixth fastest-growing 100,000+ city in the nation. The thriving suburb is conveniently located within minutes of DFW International Airport, one of the world’s top ten busiest airports, and is home to a new, 150,000-square-foot Public Safety Building that houses the Fire Department, Police Department, Jail and 9-1-1 Communications Center.

The REVERSE 911® system now residing within this state-of-the-art facility cooperatively supports the crisis communications needs of Grand Prairie law enforcement, Fire/EMS and Emergency Management. Designated personnel simply select the area(s) requiring notification using the city’s digital maps; prepare or select a message specific to the situation; and activate. Recipients receive information or instruction in a number of ways, including landline, cell (if registered), email, etc. Messages provided by the solution will enhance Grand Prairie’s traditional communications strategies (e.g., Emergency Alert System through local television and local radio stations, cable over-ride through Time Warner Cable, outdoor warning sirens, etc.) and non-traditional ones such as http://www.gptx.org and e-blast, Facebook or Nixle.

This system also will be utilized internally to communicate with city staff and partner agencies day-to-day and during a time of crisis. “We used our REVERSE 911® system from February 3-6, 2011, during Super Bowl XLV Emergency Operations to place our Streets Department personnel on standby for sanding operations due to icy and snowy road conditions. We also activated crews to provide sanding so that our first responders could navigate the roadways safely during our Super Bowl XLV-related events,” said Hunter.

To further expand the reach and effectiveness of the REVERSE 911® system, the City of Grand Prairie is implementing an optional Self-Registration Portal (SRP) from
Cassidian Communications. Through this important add-on, local residents and local businesses can proactively sign up on the City of Grand Prairie Emergency Management webpage, http://www.gptx.org/disasters, to receive the alerts issued by the City. Residents can update their personal contact information as often as necessary, helping keep the database employed by the REVERSE 911® system current.

In addition to alerting local residents of potential hazards, Grand Prairie officials will utilize the solution’s Mobilization Plus® module to quickly assemble response teams, city leaders, volunteers and others as needed. They will employ the HAZMAT module in situations involving dangerous chemicals, including traffic accidents, train derailments and structural fires. If necessary, they will access the MassCall® notification service of Cassidian Communications, exponentially increasing the communications capacity of the REVERSE 911® system in large-scale events like natural disasters.

“We are thrilled to add the City of Grand Prairie to our long and growing list of REVERSE 911® certified locations,” said Bob Freinberg, vice president and general manager of the Notification Solutions and Services business unit of Cassidian Communications. “Their commitment to public safety is resolute, as is ours to them as a technology partner. Together, we will work to keep the residents and visitors of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area alerted and informed in situations impacting their well-being or everyday lives.”

About Cassidian Communications (http://www.CassidianCommunications.com)

As the largest and most trusted source of mission critical communications solutions, Cassidian Communications, an EADS North America company, is leading the way in standards-based NG9-1-1 call center applications, notification solutions and services and P25 land mobile radio systems. Headquartered in Temecula, California.

About CASSIDIAN (http://www.cassidian.com)
Cassidian, an EADS company, is a worldwide leader in global security solutions and systems, providing Lead Systems Integration and value-added products and services to civil and military customers around the globe: air systems (aircraft and unmanned aerial systems), land, naval and joint systems, intelligence and surveillance, cyber security, secure communications, test systems, missiles, services and support solutions. In 2009, Cassidian – with around 28,000 employees – achieved revenues of € 5.4 billion. EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2009, the Group – comprising the Divisions Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of € 42.8 billion and employed a workforce of more than 119,000.

About EADS North America (http://www.eadsnorthamerica.com)
EADS North America is the North American operation of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services. As a leader in all sectors of defense and homeland security, EADS North America and its parent company, EADS, contribute over $11 billion to the U.S. economy annually and support more than 200,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers and services. Operating in 17 states, EADS North America offers a broad array of advanced solutions to its customers in the commercial, homeland security, aerospace and defense markets.

Media Contacts:
Tami Timperio
Vice President, Marketing
Cassidian Communications, an EADS North America Company
Tel: 951.719.2423
tami(dot)timperio(at)CassidianCommunications(dot)com

Amy Sprinkles
Public Information Officer
City of Grand Prairie, Texas
Tel: 972.237.8140
asprinkles(at)gptx(dot)org    

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Tami Timperio
PlantCML
951.719.2423
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