This is a test of the Palo Alto emergency breakfast system!

Palo Alto fire department pancakes.jpgThe Palo Alto Fire Department raised eyebrows when it used a countywide emergency alerts system to send residents information about a charity pancake breakfast.

AlertSCC, send messages to 27,000 people in Santa Clara County about Saturday’s charity event at park in Palo Alto.

The event was intended to raise money for a city effort to prevent teen suicides. It drew attendees including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Yahoo President and CEO Marissa Mayer and her son.

Fire Chief Eric Nickel said he did not intend to advertise the breakfast but authorized the alert because he was concerned residents might inundate the city’s emergency dispatch center with calls related to one of the activities at the event: a rescue [pancake] simulation by a helicopter.

The alert included a sentence about the rescue simulation.

Nickel said that the city did not receive any 911 calls about the helicopter and that he has received fewer than 10 complaints about the alert.

Still, he said a discussion he is warranted between public safety officials and the city manager about use of the system.

The Daily Post Today
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