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Local emergency responders ready for Boston-like incident

By Dwayne Parker, Reporter, DParker@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 18 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 19 2013 05:41:42 PM CDT

The lockdown in the Boston area has caught the attention of emergency response officials in Berks County.

READING, Pa. -

The lockdown in the Boston area has caught the attention of emergency response officials in Berks County.

Since early Friday morning, millions were told to stay inside their homes in Boston and its nearby suburbs as police and military officials went door to door, with weapons drawn, looking for Suspect No. 2, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, allegedly responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings.

His older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, known to the FBI as Suspect No. 1, was killed overnight, officials said.

Since this type of incident can happen anytime, anywhere, Berks County officials said they are prepared to use a reverse 911 system to get vital information to residents.

"Well, it helps us to be able to alert a large percentage of the population than we could in the past," said Jim Conrad, emergency municipal coordinator.

The reverse 911 system is operated through the Reading Water Authority and does not automatically contact cell phones, officials said.

They said you must register your cell phone number with the agency to make sure you receive those alerts on your mobile phone.

"These incidents, isolated incidents are hard to prepare for because they may not occur in your whole lifetime, but then again, it could happen more than once. So you always have to be prepared for it," said Conrad.