Respond to Emergencies With A School Alert Systems

Unfortunately there has been a growing trend with active shooters in our nation’s schools. As a result, more and more schools are including emergency notification systems, like Vigilance Software, as part of their EOP (emergency operations plan). Active shooter drills and training with teachers, staff, and students are now common place.

Communication During An Emergency Is Key

Having a school alert system allows teachers, administrators, staff and students to react quickly when a emergency notification is sent, giving them the maximum amount of time to react, and help protect themselves during a crisis.The alerts can be initiated through desktop software applications on mac or windows. They can also be send using a mobile applications, web clients, or panic buttons. Seconds count during a crisis. Using this type of system gives the users closest to the incident, the ability to warn others, both in the immediate area, as well as the surrounding areas.

How Emergency Notification Systems In Schools Work

Similar to other organizations, schools go through the same three step process of determining which types of alerts they want to respond to, which teachers, administrators, and staff they want notified based on the specific type of alert, and which actions they want to take place in the school once an alert has been sent.

For schools it is common to have notifications for active shooters, building lock out, building lock downs, medical incidents, School Resource Officer assistance, admin assistance, etc.

Vaping in schools has become a significant issue. As a result many schools have started installing multi sensors such as the HALO IOT Smart Sensor, from IPVideo Corp, which detects vaping, THC use, smoking, and more. These detectors also have audio monitoring technology that can be used for bully detection, gun shots, breaking glass, and more. Vigilance Software’s emergency notification system integrates to these vape detectors and other sensors to automatically send an alert to teachers, administrators, school resource officers, and staff.

No human interaction is required for the alerts to be triggered. Thresholds are set on the sensors, and once a threshold is passed, the sensors contact the notification system.

What Happens When An Alert Is Sent

It all depends on the type of alert to determine what is going to happen when someone initiates an alert. For example if it is a medical assistance alert, the notification may only go to the school nurse and admin team. For alerts that have a wide impact such as an active shooter type situation, notifications are typically sent to everyone. Alert notifications will pop up on the computer screens, mobile push notifications will be send along with text messages and emails.

Beyond the notifications, most schools already have other security systems, access control systems, and communication systems in place. With the right ENS platform, schools can automate the security calls to central dispatch monitoring companies, lock down surrounding buildings with access control systems such as S2, automate paging across existing paging speakers or phone systems, display messages on digital signage that is CAP compliant.

Who Can Send Alerts During an Emergency

Most schools limit the ability to send alerts to teachers, administrators, and staff. Typically students do not have the ability to trigger an alert, expect through panic buttons that may be installed on campus. Students usually do not have  Some schools also decide to configure there systems so that alerts are first send to an administrative response team such as the principle, assistance principle, and school resource officers, who will then give the okay for the alert to go out to everyone.

How Often Are Schools Involved in Active Shooter Situations

In 2018, there were 27 incidents that were classified as active shooters by the fbi. Of those 27, 5 incidents occurred in schools. The incidents happened in 16 states, resulting in 213 casualties (not including the shooters). 85 people were killed including 2 law enforcement officers and 1 unarmed security officer. The highest number of casualties with 17 killed and 17 wounded was at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

For more information on how Vigilance Software can help, please contact us.