KPTZ Emergency Response

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Our Goals and Responsibilities

Our role is to pass on vital information in partnership with the JC Emergency operation center. In an emergency our target is to get the right KPTZ people to the right place at the right time.

Our primary goal is to provide vital and timely information for events which are considered emergencies by the Jefferson County Emergency Operations Center (JCEOC) – that is, where lives or property are in real danger. We have a secondary goal to educate community members on how to prepare for an emergency.  We are not currently a news service.

Although we do try to report on local events from start to finish, currently we do not have the staff to consistently respond to road closures, traffic accidents and other important but not catastrophic events. We are, however, looking at ways to incorporate timely information for most of the events broadcast on the Nixle system.


Click here to read about Report on KPTZ’s participation in October 19, 2017 Shake-Out Drill.

Click here to read about KPTZ’s preparation for the October 19, 2019 Drill and the actual broadcast that day.

The KPTZ Emergency Team is made up of 12 station volunteers led by Barney Burke in partnership with Willie Bence, John Ebner, and other representatives of the JCEOC. We have been meeting regularly for 5 years and have run many tests of our systems.

We have documented most of the emergency systems. The entire team knows that they will look after the safety and well being of their own family first before attending to the needs of the station. In the case of a widespread emergency there will be a delay before we can get on the air with information.

We are officially a trusted partner with the JCEOC. A very rare privilege for community radio stations. As a result our staff will be permitted to embed in the JCEOC and broadcast directly from that facility if necessary.

Several team members have passed the 4 basic FEMA classes in order to be credentialed by the JCEOC and therefore allowed to be embedded. We provide all these services at extremely low cost.

Backup Systems

We have built many backup systems. Both the transmitter and studio have generators. There is a microwave link between the centers that will allow communication even if the phone lines are down. There is a backup studio at the transmitter site in case the primary studio is inoperable.

We are implementing a hand held radio network for communication between team members. There is a KPTZ desk at the JCEOC with the capability of interrupting regular programming with emergency updates. We can remotely record information and place it into the studio system to give regular updates.

We are developing a network of individuals we can call on to provide “on the ground” information in the case of an emergency.