CodeRed emergency notification system “all call” test sent to thousands of Ada County phone numbers Tuesday

If you got an automated call from the Ada County Sheriff’s Office about the CodeRed Community Notification System from a funky 866 area code Tuesday, you are not alone.

Pretty much everybody else in Ada County got the same call – especially if you still have a landline. It wasn’t spam or a scam. It was a test.

CodeRed performed a one-time “All Call” test Tuesday, where they try to reach as many phones in the county as possible to encourage people to sign up for the emergency notification system.

If you have already signed up for CodeRed, you don’t need to sign up again. You are good.

If you haven’t signed up for the emergency notification service, we strongly encourage you to do so.

Under our old “reverse-911” system, our Emergency 911 dispatchers could send an emergency notification message to all listed Ada County landlines or as narrow as a single address.

The proliferation of cell phones and alternate ways people communicate with them – including texting and email – rendered that system less effective.

So we added Code Red in 2015, which provides geographic emergency notifications by call, text, and email. Unlike the old “reverse 911” with landlines, you have to sign up for it.

Tuesday’s all-call went out to all of the landlines in our database and cell phones that were already signed up.

CodeRed also contacted all the major cell phone carriers and asked them to send the automated message to whatever Ada County phone numbers they had.

So even if you haven’t signed up for CodeRed, you probably got a phone call from (866) 419-5000 asking you to sign up.

Which you should absolutely do. You choose the type of message you want to receive which includes phone calls, text messages, emails, and social media.

CodeRED is used to keep you informed of incidents and events that can immediately impact your safety.

A few examples of why CodeRED would be used would be

to notify you of criminal activity by your neighborhood or workplace (depending on the address you register), evacuation notices, wildfires, floods, and missing person cases.

CodeRED also includes a call back feature that allows you to call the number back and hear the message in case you miss the call.

To register, please go to

Because the “all call” is done automatically, if a call goes to phone number where no one answers and doesn’t have voice mail set up, it will automatically redial that number two more times.

Here is the text of Tuesday’s call:

“This is the Ada County Sheriff’s Office 911 Emergency Communications Center with an important message for all residents and businesses located in Ada County.

We have licensed the CodeRED Community Notification System to help disseminate important or critical information.

We encourage all residents and businesses to go to the Ada County Sheriff’s Office website, click on the CodeRED logo located at the right side of the page and enter their contact information, including additional phone numbers, text information and email addresses. This will ensure that the data in our system is accurate and current.

If you know of anyone who did not receive this call who lives in Ada County please encourage them to visit the Ada County Sheriff’s Office website and enter their information.

If you do not have Internet access, please contact a friend or family member to help add your contact information to the emergency contact database. You can also call the Ada County Sheriff’s Office 911 Emergency Communications Center directly at 208-377-6790 for assistance. That is 208-377-6790.

Go to:

Thank you.”

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