Residents Ask, What is Code Red?

Newschannel 6 is learning more about the blaze that engulfed the old Certainteed Plant Wednesday and took fire crews several hours to put out.   
Since the building was an old manufacturing plant officials were initially worried about possible toxic smoke. They soon learned there was no danger, but issued a code red alert to anyone living within a mile radius of the scene.

Calls then swarmed our newsroom from concerned residents confused about the phone call. Some even asking what a code red was.

Newschannel 6 took your concerns straight to city officials in a story you will only see on 6.

When the code red phone calls were issued after Wednesday's blaze some residents who received phone calls were confused with the voice recording on the line. But John Henderson, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator says code red is just another avenue city officials can count on to get information out to the public in an emergency situation.

If you got the phone call on Wednesday and were confused your not alone. Newschannel 6's facebook page shows the activity after the emergency red code system was led.

John Henderson says the system was enacted to notify the public living near the scene. He states, "This last incident we all understand people could smell the fumes and it is a factory. It is closed, but I can understand that people want to know if they are breathing this toxic air."

Henderson says the three year old system does still have some issues, but they are actively trying to work it out to lessen the gap of miscommunication. He also comments, "The biggest issue we've seen is the message that is sent out. We've had people that don't understand the message so we are trying to get better at writing our messages to make sure we get better information out."

Wichita Falls resident Thelma Eaden has mixed feelings about the system and says, "There is always going to be pros and cons especially for older people if they are by themselves. They are going to be very confused and frightened."

The city says the emergency code red system is currently one of three in place to alert and warn the public of any emergency situations, such as weather conditions or any water outages. They are actively working on finding new ways to release information through facebook and twitter.

John Henderson says when a code red phone call is sent out a phone number is always left at the end of the message so residents with questions can call the number and speak with a dispatcher to get more information.

If you would like to get weather warning notifications or add your cell phone number to the Wichita Falls code red data base click here for the notification enrollment.

The Emergency Preparedness Department will have a booth set up at the Kohl's Cares for Kids Safety Fair and Falls Feast. They welcome anyone to stop by and ask questions about the notification enrollment process.

Natalie Garcia,  Newschannel 6