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Emergency notification system alerts UWindsor community to industrial fire

Some members of the campus community didn’t have to see the plume of black smoke to know that a fire was raging in a plastic recycling plant on Windsor’s west side Tuesday afternoon. Registrants with the UWindsorAlert emergency notification system received notice of the fire through their telephones and e-mail, providing status reports and suggesting safety measures.

Campus police sergeant Chris Zelezney generated messages to individuals located toward the south end of campus.

“The system worked perfectly,” he says. “All of our people got notified within two or three minutes. I was able to access it from home to provide updates through the evening.”

As emergency services provided situation reports through the web-based operations centre, Zelezney was able to pass on the information through Campus Police accounts on Facebook and Twitter. By 8 p.m., a final message confirmed that the fire was contained and would have no effect on the UWindsor campus.

“This is a great example of the value of the UWindsorAlert system,” says Zelezney. “It gives us the ability to reach people and ensure their safety, wherever they are located.”

The system can provide notification through voicemail and e-mail to a landline or cellphone device registered by users. Its effectiveness depends upon individuals providing accurate and up-to-date contact information, Zelezney says.

Registration is free and requires a UWinID and password. Learn more, and register for the service, on the UWindsorAlert website.