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New Swift911 Alert System Will Connect Tompkins County Residents to Vital Information

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> New Swift911 Alert System Will Connect Tompkins County Residents to Vital Information


The Tompkins County Health Department will be closed Oct. 18, Noon-4:30PM, for staff development. The answering service will receive phone calls.and will notify staff In case of emergency.

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New Swift911 Alert System Will Connect Tompkins County Residents to Vital Information

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Officials of Tompkins County and the City of Ithaca today unveiled the new, countywide Swift911 Mass-Notification Alert System, a system that will enable local governments to alert residents to matters of urgent importance, and also can be used by residents as an everyday tool to stay informed of non-emergency information of importance to them.

The new system, implemented through the County’s Emergency Communications (911) Center, will be used by the County, the City of Ithaca, and other municipalities in the county.  It can send an immediate message via phone, text, email, fax, or social media—which can be used either in a comprehensive fashion, such as in a major emergency, or focused to a specific geographic area.  It also can provide timely information to subscribers who have a particular need or interest. 

Tompkins County has acquired the system, a product of the SwiftReach Company, of Mahwah, NJ, which is provided to the City of Ithaca and all other municipalities in the County as a shared service.  The mass notification system is an element of the County’s 2018 Shared Services Plan.

Tompkins County Legislature Chair Michael Lane notes that acquiring the new system and taking a countywide approach to implement it is important.  “Emergency situations and other matters of importance don’t respect municipal boundaries,” he said.  “It’s important that all residents of Tompkins County, wherever they live, are able to be contacted through the same alert system to learn critical information.  The new Swift911 system will enable us to alert our entire community, or specific areas, within Tompkins County with emergency messages and provide information on how to take action.  Our municipalities will be able to notify their populations about emergency and non-emergency situations in their home areas—all using the same system.”

“Thanks to the County, the City finally has a solution to a problem that has bothered City residents for decades, said City of Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick.  “We have Odd/Even parking regulations during the winter to ensure we can keep our streets clear of snow, but people have to move their cars even when it isn't snowing. The City of Ithaca is going to use Swift911 to suspend enforcement of Odd/Even parking regulations this season, and we will use Swift911 to notify residents when regulations are back in effect.”

The Odd/Even parking situation is only one of the ways in which the City will employ the Swift911 system.  Mayor Myrick notes that for years the City has searched for a solution to keep its citizens informed of all that’s going on in the city.  (Not everyone is on Facebookor subscribes to email notifications.)  City officials are excited that Swift911will allow people to receive notifications via text message and voice calls in addition to email. They also look forward to being able to notify people geographically, so that, for example, in the event of road closures or hydrant flushing in a particular neighborhood, people and businesses directly affected by that issue can be notified.  The County and other municipalities will be offering this subscription-based notification service as well, through Swift911.                                                                                   

Everyone is urged to register to opt in for Swift911 alerts.  While all published telephone numbers have already been uploaded into the system, many are not in the system because they have unlisted, unpublished, or cell phone numbers.  It is important that all provide and update their contact information to ensure emergency information can be communicated to everyone in a timely manner.  Once registered in the system, you can customize your contact information and subscribe to receive notifications (such as the City’s Odd/Even notification mentioned above.)

You can subscribe to receive these notices by registering on the Tompkins County website at (Click on the Swift911 icon that will appear there shortly), on the City of Ithaca website at; or by going to on your mobile device (or text “Swift911” to 99538).  You can either install the mobile app or enter your contact information in your web browser.  

You may also register by contacting the Tompkins County Department of Emergency Response at (607) 266-2630 or email at