Fire dept. chief defends using emergency notification system to send alert about charity event

AlertSCC sent messages to 27,000 people

PALO ALTO, Calif. - The chief of the Palo Alto Fire Department says his agency did nothing wrong when it used an automated emergency notification system to get the word out about a charity pancake breakfast.
 
The San Jose Mercury News reports the countywide system, known as AlertSCC, sent messages to 27,000 people about Saturday's charity event.
 
Chief Eric Nickel says he authorized the alert because the event included the landing of a rescue helicopter, and he wanted residents to know it was a demonstration and not an actual emergency.
 
Resident Erica Schroeder says she received two phone calls, a text and an email about the event. She calls it overkill.
 
Nickel says there were few complaints and the alert was not a misuse of the system.
 

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