Last month the town of Brome Lake alerted its citizens to a water boiling advisory. It did so by using the latest technology and sending messages to some 6,000 people by email, texts and on land line and cell phones. An effective way of reaching people quickly. However efficient, the technology has its problems. Many citizens complained that they did not recognize the caller on the screen of their cell phones, so they did not answer the call.
“We heard that comment too,” said Ghyslain Forcier, TBL’s communications person. “We are working on resolving that issue.’’ In a telephone interview with Tempo, Forcier explained that the firm working with the town on its emergency communications is based in Beauce, near Quebec City, so the alerts that they issue show a Quebec City regional code rather than a local one. “We are looking at getting dedicated lines so that the origin of the call can be local. This however may slow down the time it takes to issue the alert,’’ explained Forcier. It will take a little more time to solve the problem. The messages are sent in the language selected by each citizen. To change the language of the alerts, let the town know. In the meantime, let’s hope that no new emergency situation arises, or, maybe picking up the phone without knowing who’s calling, like in the old days, is the thing to do!