Belmont Selects Connect-CTY® Service to Improve Emergency Preparedness and Communication
Test Call Planned to Ensure Residents are Ready to Receive Important Messages
[BELMONT, MA – NOVEMBER 13, 2008] – The Town of Belmont announced today it has selected the Connect-CTY mass notification service from Blackboard Connect Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB). The town will conduct its first community-wide test call on Friday, November 14.
Belmont has implemented the Connect-CTY service to provide town officials the ability to communicate with residents regarding time-sensitive incidents, which may include both planned and unforeseen public safety matters.
The Connect-CTY service allows officials to record, send and track personalized voice messages to thousands of residents, businesses, and local agencies in just minutes, through a single phone call. The town can also send text messages to cell phones, PDAs, e-mail accounts, and TTY/TDD receiving devices for the hearing impaired. The service requires no additional hardware; it can be used from any computer with Internet access or just a telephone, ensuring that officials can send vital messages from wherever they are located.
“Communicating with residents quickly during a time-sensitive situation is important to Belmont officials and our community,” said Richard Lane, Assistant Chief of Police for Belmont. “We plan to use the service to send messages to residents with important town announcements such as inclement weather warnings, evacuations, community, and utility updates.”
Town administrators can target messages to an unlimited number of groups – everything from mobilizing emergency response teams to coordinating efforts with necessary agencies or volunteers. Authorized users also can use a map on the Connect-CTY system to contact specific geographical locations, sending messages only to the residents within select neighborhoods when needed.
“With the Connect-CTY service, we will be able to reach out to citizens directly,” said Lane. “I strongly urge all Belmont residents to register their contact information into the secure Connect-CTY service database to make sure they are ready to receive important information at any given time.”
Publicly available primary residential and business phones in Belmont will automatically be included in the system. However, residents can opt-in to provide their complete information (up to three phone numbers and two e-mail addresses) and indicate if they have a TTY/TDD device by visiting the Belmont Web site www.town.belmont.ma.us and clicking on the link that says “SIGN UP NOW – SERVICES BY CONNECT-CTY” to enter their information into the secure database. Those without Internet access can have their information added into the system by calling (617) 993-2580, please leave your name and address
and we will send you the forms. Residents with call blocking services can make sure to receive the town’s time-sensitive calls by adding (617) 993-2600 to their approved number list.
“The best way to keep residents informed and, therefore, safe is through communication, and the Connect-CTY service makes it easy,” said Brendan Cotter, President of Connect-CTY. “With the Connect-CTY service, administrators have a powerful tool for mass communication without having to purchase new computers, software and telephone lines.”
Belmont will be conducting its first test-call Friday, November 14, in order to ensure residents are aware of the program and can provide correct phone numbers and e-mail addresses should they not receive the test message. If residents do not receive the call, they should visit the town’s Web site at www.town.belmont.ma.us and click on the “SIGN UP NOW – SERVICES BY CONNECT-CTY” link to enter their contact information.
Residents without Internet access can have their information added into the database by calling (617) 993-2580.
For more information on the Connect-CTY system, please contact the company at (818) 808-1789.
Additional Information about the Connect-CTY Service
The Connect-CTY® service is provided by Blackboard Connect Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB). The service was created specifically for local and regional government leaders based upon the award winning Connect platform. The service can be used to send targeted, time-sensitive voice and text messages to landlines, cell phones, PDAs, e-mail addresses, pagers, TTY/TDD receiving devices, and other text receiving devices and is compliant with the Common Alerting Protocol v. 1.1 (CAP-V1.1). The Connect platform is a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution that has been in service since early 2001 and includes the Connect-ED®, Connect-CTY, Connect-GOV®, and Connect-MIL® systems. In 2007, the Connect platform was used by over 20,500 active sites to send over 240 million voice calls and over 17
million e-mail and SMS messages to constituents.
*Blackboard Connect Inc. does not sell, lease, share, or rent personally identifiable information (names, addresses, phone numbers, etc.) to any companies or persons outside of Blackboard or its service providers.