MARSHALL, Mich. (WOOD) — Calhoun County will soon have a new tool for its dispatchers to send emergency alerts.

Lt. Chris Young, the county’s emergency management director, said dispatchers and other first responders have been frustrated over being unable to send a specified alert using their current messaging system.

“It wasn’t built for emergency alerts. It was built for more of a notification or urgent notifications,” Young explained. “So it was limited on how we could even get messages out.”

Replacing the old system on Aug. 1 is a new one called Rave Alerts. At the discretion of shift supervisor, dispatchers can send out tailored alerts whenever there is a potentially dangerous situation involving weather, traffic, Amber Alerts, or other emergencies and disasters.

“We’re going to have in that system pre-made templates so it’s really easy for them to be able to send out an emergency alert because there’s so much going on in that dispatch center in a situation where there’s a major emergency,” Michael Armitage, Calhoun County 911’s executive director, said.

Rave Alerts is owned by the same company as Smart911, a service already used by Calhoun County dispatchers to get critical information from users who call 911. Given that, Armitage said Rave further streamlines operations, saving critical seconds or even minutes in an emergency.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of scenarios where this is going to make a difference in people’s everyday lives and improve the quality of service of public safety within Calhoun County,” Armitage said. “So I am excited about this.”

Those interested have two ways to sign up. They can text CALHOUN or CCTRAFFIC to 67283. They can also create a Smart911 profile and download the Smart911 app. Rave alerts would also be tailored to wherever users are located if dispatchers in their area use Smart911.