LEPC What to do during a Chemical Emergency - First Call


Frequently Asked Questions
What does the First Call Network system do?

The First Call Network telephone emergency notification system is another tool that the county can use to alert people of an emergency situation.  First Call Network makes telephone calls to those affected by the emergency, alerting them to the emergency situation and providing them with appropriate response instructions.  The calls are made very quickly (212 per minute). First Call is an emergency notification service, so they have the phone lines and computer equipment.  The system is available 24 hours a day, throughout the whole year.

What are some potential uses of the system? 

The First Call system can be used for a number of different situations.  Here is a list of some of the potential uses:

  • Chemical release at a facility
  • Transportation related chemical release
  • Shelter-in-place notifications
  • Evacuations
  • Fires or explosions
  • Flash flood warnings for certain areas
  • Water or gas main breaks
  • Warn an area of an escaped prisoner
  • Notify a community of a lost child
What will the message say?

The messages can be recorded when the call is made to First Call or the message can be prerecorded and referred to when calling First Call for activation.  The message will identify what the emergency is and provide you with the appropriate information to protect you.  For example the message may request that you shelter-in-place if there is a chemical release.  The message will refer you to the television or radio for further information.

Who will activate the system?

The system can only be activated by authorized persons.  Central Dispatch has the authority to activate the system.  Central Dispatch would act on the commands given by the fire department or the police department.

How often will the message be repeated?

The message is given twice to make sure the recipient gets the message clearly.

Is the system capable of calling from a specific site?

One of the biggest advantages of the First Call system over other systems is its ability to call outward from all directions from a single location. This will assure those most endangered from the incident are called first.

Can people respond to the calls they receive?

First Call's interactive system can ask for a response from the message recipient.  After listening to the delivered message with this type of ending "Did you understand the message or Do you need assistance complying with this emergency notification," the message recipient can indicate their ability to respond by pressing the appropriate digital response.  A detailed report will be faxed or e-mailed to Central Dispatch, which includes all interactive responses, addresses, and phone number of the citizenry requesting assistance.

How to include your unlisted phone number?

Use this form to make sure that your unlisted phone number is included in the First Call Network. This will assure that you will be notified by telephone in the event of an incident in your neighborhood.

Please print, complete the form below and send this information to Muskegon County Emergency Services. They will make sure that your unlisted number is included in the database. Muskegon County Emergency Services and First Call will use your information only for this purpose and will maintain the security of your information.

Name:_______________________________________________________

Address:_____________________________________________________

Phone:_______________________________________________________

Please send this information to the following address: 

Muskegon County Emergency Services
133 East Apple Avenue
Muskegon, Michigan 49442
Attn: Roy Wheeler
Phone: (231) 724-6341


Who contracted with First Call Network?

The County has contracted directly with First Call Network.  The Muskegon Chemical Council has provided the funds to the county to purchase a five-year contract with First Call.

How does First Call get the phone numbers?

First Call purchases phone numbers and addresses from the phone company or other sources.  At this time unlisted numbers would not be in the database.  If you provide your unlisted number to Muskegon County Emergency Services, they will make sure that your number is in the First Call system. 

For further information on the First Call telephone emergency notification system, please contact Muskegon County Emergency Services.

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Muskegon County Emergency Services