Magazine article National Defense

Airborne Notification System Takes Off

Magazine article National Defense

Airborne Notification System Takes Off

Article excerpt

* Public safety officials credit airborne speakers for helping save a 4-year-old girl, named Zoey, who in March was lost in the woods near Brookings, Ore.

The speakers, attached to an aircraft, played a recorded message of the girl's grandmother "that was loud and clear and likely kept Zoey hanging on to hope that she was not alone and would be found," says a letter by Timothy M. Evinger, the sheriff of Klamath County, Ore.

When Zoey was found, he writes, she "was on death's doorstep."

The Airborne Public Address System was unveiled in March as a way to notify Hawaiians of potential tsunamis. The system delivers recognizable voice messages to anyone within a roughly three-mile radius of the aircraft and is intended to replace traditional sirens that are placed atop buildings or on poles.

"This was the only speaker that could reach out that far and you could still understand what was coming out," says Scott Bakker, who heads the nonprofit group Guardians from Above, which developed the system. …

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