PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Rapid fire communication via texts and emails on a cell phone is a hallmark of Generation X and the Millennials, those born between 1965 and 1995.

“I think it’s probably the most used form of communication,” says Craig Hamman of the South Hills. “I don’t think people pick up the phone anymore and make actual phone calls.”

That explains why Allegheny County is rolling out something called Allegheny Alerts.

“It’s just a tool for communication to constituents out in the county,” notes Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

The idea? Provide everyone a free, easy way to get instant information about county activities.

“I know I would personally pick the text over the email because it’s so instant and it happens so quickly,” says Allison Huey of Shadyside.

“It seems to be keeping up with the times. That’s the way things are going,” adds Gil Broxie of Penn Hills.

But to use this, you have to sign up on the Allegheny County website, click Allegheny Alerts, and register for the Alerts, which can be narrowed down to, say, a particular county park and the swimming pool within that park.

Not everybody likes this type of communication.

“I don’t like it at all because I don’t text to start with. I’m not a big fan of all these electronics that goes on nowadays,” says Sue Ackerman of Overbrook.

No worries, you can actually get a voice message alert instead on your cell phone or landline.

Right now, the alerts are limited to the Kane Regional Centers and the county parks, but later this summer the county hopes to expand this to human service alerts, public works and alerts about health care.

Of course, it can always be used in an emergency like what happened at Franklin Regional High School.

But for the moment, the alerts are non-emergency.

“It could be really useful,” says Kristen Zaranec of Upper St. Clair. “I guess it just depends what they’re alerting me for. If I get alerts all the time that could be really annoying.”

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