Polk County Emergency Management officials in Iowa attribute the August 8, 2013 recovery of a missing woman with dementia to the utilization of CodeRED, the agency’s high-speed emergency notification service that has been in place since 2009.
Once alerted of the missing woman, Iowa’s Ankeny Police Department requested the use of the county’s CodeRED system to aid in the search. Jon Davis, Assistant Coordinator at Polk County Emergency Management, selected a 2-mile calling radius to reach approximately 10,000 residents via telephone calls, text messages and emails. Davis launched the notification from his home, then headed to the police department command post. On his drive in, he saw citizens who had received the call begin to turn on their porch lights and go outside to help look for the missing woman.
“By the time I got there, [police] were already getting phone calls from citizens. They had no idea where she went, so they deployed officers in every direction around the point she was last seen and started searching. Using the CodeRED notification allowed them to obviously redirect all of their resources to the area the woman was last seen,” Davis said.
ECN offers IPAWS access to authorized COGs through the CodeRED emergency notification solution. Available since 2011, the CodeRED IPAWS interface has been regularly demonstrated by FEMA officials at industry tradeshows and events.
Polk County Emergency Management has proactively and successfully utilized CodeRED to help locate four missing persons in 2013 alone. They say using the system for the recent recovery was a major success.