Vernon County jail upgrades include new emergency alert system


(VERNON COUNTY, MO) A Southwest Missouri jail is upgrading security for its lockup.

A new video surveillance system means jailers have more options for keeping track of inmates. New monitors make it easier to keep tabs on the dozens of cameras trained on jail cells, a project paid by funds from the jail commissary. They’ve also added a new communications alert called “Active 911.”

“A fire or automobile accident, or whatever the case is–that information gets pushed to their cell phone device through this Active 911 system, giving them the details of the call, the address of the call,” Sheriff Jason Mosher explained.

The Nevada Fire Department first started testing the the system. Vernon County emergency dispatchers have now adopted Active 911 as well as smaller fire departments throughout the county.

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Outage Debrief – October 31 2019

What Happened

On Oct 21st at 11:46 ET our internal monitoring alerted us to a problem.  After investigation, we discovered our real-time communication service that enables us to provide response buttons, device position updates, and chat messages was not responding.  The service was restarted and the problem was fixed by 12:12 ET.

What went Wrong

  • We were investigating and monitoring a memory leak problem.  Our projections told us we had a couple of weeks left before we needed to take action, but we had an unanticipated spike in memory consumption that moved the timeline up.
  • We had to make some manual adjustments to connect to the right server that added a couple of minutes to the outage.

How we’re fixing it

  • We’re making sure to eliminate those manual adjustments we needed to make to connect to the server.
  • Despite logging 40 hours against finding the cause of the memory leak, we are no closer to a fix.  We’ll be setting up a meeting to determine how best proceed to minimize and eventually eliminate the impact of this problem and service.

Outage debrief – September 19 2019

What Happened

On Sept 19th at 12:22 ET we deployed some code to enable us to send a silent notification to all iOS users about the upcoming iOS 13 release. With iOS 13 coming out in a matter of hours, Joe made the decision to push these changes as a ‘Hotfix’ which favors expediency over thoroughness. Our internal monitoring caught it within minutes, it was recognized as an outage and the fix was in production in under an hour.

What went Wrong

We rushed the notification, and it bit us.

  • We had a fix for the iOS 13 problems in beta for weeks ahead of the release, but we failed to release early enough.
  • We did not do enough regression testing around core functionality before releasing a hotfix.
  • We rolled to backup servers first, but did not wait long enough for our monitoring to catch the problem before we rolled to our production servers.

How we’re fixing it

  • I’m going to take a look at our release process to identify why the beta stayed in beta so long.
  • We are evaluating what is worthy of a hotfix and evaluating the steps we take in each hotfix deployment.
  • We’ll ensure we give our backup servers enough time to alert us to problems before we continue with a production release.


Outage debrief – August 31 2019


On August 31 at 16:08 ET our monitoring alerted us that one of the services that enable us to provide response buttons, device position updates, and chat messages was not responding. Multiple attempts to recover the service failed, so we rerouted to a backup, restoring full functionality at 18:12 ET.

What went wrong

  • Our warning monitoring did not detect a problem when it should have.
  • We did not reroute to a backup as fast as we could have.
  • We lacked the ability to reroute quickly for this particular service.

How we’re fixing it

  • We’re updating our warnings to let us fix the problem before it becomes one.
  • We’re attempting to break our test environments to identify what triggered the service to become unstable.


Rapid Notification System coming to ACSO


(Atascosa County, Tex.) Atascosa County EMS Director Don Penny stated, “…With Active 911 and the CAD system, it will allow our EMS crews to view maps and dispatch information pertinent to the situation in which they are responding. The Sheriff’s Office, Fire and EMS will all be receiving the same information and it will allow a more coordinated effort among the agencies. In incidents involving multiple agencies, it will greatly improve safety of the first responders, victims and the public. This is an invaluable upgrade from our past communication methods and will improve emergency response time across Atascosa County.”

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Safety on the Trails with Active911


(Bentonville, Ark.) “Training participants practiced using an app, Active 911. Dispatchers ping the caller’s cellphone location and send coordinates to emergency responders through the app. The location shows up on a map that includes roadways and trailways. The map also shows and updates the location of fellow responders in real time.

Part of the training was to evaluate the application’s accuracy, which proved to be on point.”

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Try Family SMS Free for 14 days

Active 911 Family SMS

How it Works

When you tap a Response button, it gets sent over to the family member that you added on the users tab. Then, your family member receives a text message letting them know what your response is to that alert. This way they know where you are!

You can use this feature with our free 14-day trial. After that, it’s just $10 from the date of purchase for an entire year for each family member device.

Go ahead and log in, and we’ll walk you through how to set it up.

For Admins:

Optional: If you want more information to be sent to the family members besides just the response, you can select any of the SMS call fields to include and those will be sent within the text message.


1. Click on the Family tab.


2. Then click the Add Device button in the left corner.Active911

3. Select the user’s name that will be connected to the family member’s number. Enter in the phone number. Enter in the relationship, if you choose. Click Save.Active911

4. Once you have added a family SMS device, the Family Tab will add that device to the list and will look like this:Active911

For Users:

1. When you log in to the website and go to the tab with your name on it, it will look like this:

2. You can choose to add family SMS devices by clicking the Add Number button. Your free trial applies to all newly added family members! After the 14 days is up, each device is $10 per year.


Get started!

Peace of mind for your family for an entire year for just $10? Yes, please! To participate in the free trial for Family SMS for your agency click here:

Family SMS subscriptions are now available for the agency to purchase!

One of our newest features just got better! We can now accept payments from your department for Family SMS notifications!

You sent great feedback and we have enabled our departments to provide this service to you and your teams! Give your significant other immediate SMS notifications when you are responding to a call. This is the fastest way to notify a loved one without delaying response time.

In order to use this feature, you must have a paid subscription with us or an active trial.

If you are renewing or purchasing a new agency subscription, you can add Family SMS from the same page! The cost is $10.00 per device for a year subscription.

Example of the new payment modal

If your department has paid for both traditional device subscriptions and family sms subscriptions, you can now see how many are being used in the same location on the agency tab.

Lastly, if you need to add more family sms subscriptions to your account, we have you covered! There is a “+ Family Subscriptions” button now on the family tab where you can add family sms subscriptions. To the left of it you can see how many are available and how many are being used. This means too that when you go to add a device to the family tab, you can assign them an agency family sms subscription!

New look in the top right corner of the family tab

If you have any questions about how family sms works or about purchasing family sms subscriptions, please call us at 541-223-7992 or email us at!

Active911 Price Increase

Active911 will be increasing the base price of our services by $1.25 effective January 1st, 2019. Any PO’s or payments made before then will be honored at our current pricing model.

It has been nearly three years since our last increase. In that time inflation has risen 7%, with an expected increase of 2.5% for the coming year. Tracking inflation allows us to continue adding essential tools and features to the core of Active911 that helps you do your job better, faster, and more effectively. Features like continuous re-paging, overriding silent, non emergency messaging and all the other great ideas in our ideas portal.

Additional Details:
We realize many of you have already locked in your budget for the upcoming year and this increase could cause some difficulties. To help, we have extended our renewal time from 90 days to 120 days, which gives everyone renewing in the first quarter the ability to make a PO or purchase at our current price for the year. For agencies with renewals outside of that time range with a fixed budget for the year, our support team will be able to help you when your renewal time arrives.