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The second attempt to launch a citywide test of Portland’s community notification system is complete. The exercise began at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, February 9, 2012, with private vendor First Call officially contacting all the targeted 328,427 devices across the city by 5:50 p.m. The company earlier predicted it could complete the test within three hours. It is possible First Call may have overestimated the call-load capacity associated with Portland’s local landline phone infrastructure. During First Call’s previous attempt at this test last month, it reached less than one percent of the targeted population before its own system halted.
“We’re relieved that First Call overcame its technical problems and pulled this off. We now have reasonable confidence this system can reach any number of Portlanders when needed,” said Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) Director Carmen Merlo. PBEM serves as the notification system’s administrator. [more]
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