When the Crossville Fire Department was called to a potential military explosive threat on Vaughn Street Tuesday night, what they found eventually turned out to be a live vintage military shell. Once it was determined there was going to be a wait for military experts to arrive from Fort Campbell, Fire Chief Chris South asked the Cumberland County 911 center to issue what is called a ‘preemptive’ reverse 911 alert to phones within a 300-foot radius of the location near Burger King. This was just a message to be alert for a possible evacuation order which may come later in the night. A reverse 911 message was dispatched around 9:50 to those who have signed up for the service – only problem was, it went to all subscribers in the county – not just those within the 300-foot radius of Vaughn Street. This set off a panic among county residents concerned about this very serious message from authorities. We at CNF began getting hundreds of calls and messages asking what was going on. We made a quick call to the Crossville Fire Department and learned the alert was sent in error county-wide. We were the first to post on our page that it was a mistake that the alert was sent county-wide and that it was only for residents near the Burger King location. Within eight minutes of posting our message, it was read by 9,738 readers who passed it on to others.
SO WHAT HAPPENED?
We talked to the 911 director Eric Ritzman today who told us ‘according to the software company, there was some kind of glitch in the computer system that handles the transmission of the alerts’. It was an unfortunate ‘glitch’ that is being investigated to prevent it from happening again.
If you’re wondering why you did not get the alert, it is a subscription program that requires residents to subscribe to the service. You CAN CLICK HERE to subscribe to received emergency alerts in Cumberland County. You must register each phone within your family separately for those phones to receive an alert. You will enter your home address so that when an alert is issued to a specific area you’ll be on the list to get the alert.