By Conrad Dudderar
EL RENO – Canadian County government leaders believe a new mass notification system will allow them to reach more of the public in times of emergency.
Regroup Mass Notification will provide improved service to Canadian County, according to county Emergency Manager Josh Davis.
At Davis’ recommendation, Canadian County Commissioners have approved an agreement with Regroup for the county’s mass notification system.
The system is used to provide a wide range of emergency alerts and other notifications such as county government office closings.
Fewer than 700 users are on Canadian County’s current mass notification system – and more than half of those are county employees, according to Davis.
The county’s 911 data will be placed into the new Regroup system “which will allow us to reach out to more of the stakeholders that we have in the county,” he told county commissioners.
“It’s also about $11,000 cheaper.”
Regroup has an “award-winning cloud-based mass notification platform used daily by thousands of organizations to save lives, improve safety for entire communities, respond to potential hazards, prepare for emergencies, and more,” according to the company’s website.
Canadian County will start using Regroup while the other system is still in place, County Commission Chairman Dave Anderson pointed out.
Regroup will allow Canadian County to use its system at no cost until the next fiscal year starts, Davis added.
County officials will “check it out” and “make sure we like it” during this transition period, he explained.
It will be easier for citizens to sign up.
“They’re going to be able to opt out instead of opt in,” Davis told commissioners.
Davis, who has been Canadian County’s emergency manager and safety coordinator since October 2022, attended the 2023 Oklahoma Emergency Management Conference in Durant.
Some 400 emergency managers – representing municipal, tribal and county governments from across Oklahoma – attended the five-day conference.
“It was a very good conference,” Davis said. “I made a lot of good contacts and met a lot of good people.”
As part of a Feb. 26-27 training, he attended a New Emergency Management Orientation (NEMO) class.
“It was really informative,” said Davis, among about 150 emergency managers who participating in the two training days.
The Oklahoma Emergency Management Association’s conference featured general sessions, break-out sessions and an awards banquet.
Topics covered included everything from public warnings and hazard mitigation plan update guidance to emergency management drones and the Oklahoma flood plan.
Before joining Canadian County, Davis spent 12 years as a Yukon firefighter and six years as an Oklahoma City ambulance medic.