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Broadcast Alerts for Full Circle Safety Communication

Greg Peterson
November 18, 2019

Imagine your school is about to release students for the day, and just a few blocks away, police officers are responding to an armed gunman. It's a scary situation that could lead to an emergency, and with your students about to leave the safety of your building, your most precious priority has become vulnerable.

Now take a second to think about your school safety resources. How long would it take you to find out about this situation? Do you have a way to quickly contact all your staff and give them instructions? How long would your entire response take?

This scenario is based on an actual experience one of our clients had, and they were able to navigate through this experience by allowing the police department to broadcast the alert to them. When our client was faced with this situation, their resourcefulness, quick action, and use of our safety platform kept them out of danger.

The key to covering the full circle of safety communication is maintaining mutual communication with first responders. Most school districts have some method of contacting local police and emergency responders, but how streamlined in that communication channel, and how do first responders update your schools on safety risks?

The school district from the example knew the importance of connecting with first responders, and they had local law enforcement connected through the platform. An officer was able to immediately send an audible alert regarding the armed gunman once the information came through dispatch. The advanced notification instantly reached every school staff member's mobile device, letting them know about the potential danger.

The school principal took immediate action and used the CrisisGo app to conduct a reverse dismissal as the students were heading to their buses. The school then proceeded to enter a hard lockdown, and they stayed in contact with the authorities until the threat was resolved.

The most important factor for successful safety communication in this use case was the ability for both the school and their local law enforcement agency to alert each other to relevant safety threats. While it’s common for schools to have a system for letting police know there’s danger at the school, it is much less common to see schools with a system that allows police to notify school safety leaders of potential danger in the area of the school.

This situation is just another example of why it is critical for every school to be adequately prepared for any emergency situation. Often times, as it was in this case, communication is the first and most crucial step. Safety will almost always involve multiple people, and communication is essential for coordinating any prevention or response effort between the key people who make safety happen. What’s also important is the depth of the communication. Our client didn’t have to rely on a one-way communication. By maintaining a mutual communication stream that allows both the school and emergency responders to alert each other to school safety threats, the school district is able to maintain a proactive safety communication channel to discover safety risks and take the immediate actions required to avoid or mitigate any harm.

We know that when a threat emerges, everyone in danger needs to know about the full situation immediately. By having a way to instantly communicate with all their stakeholders, our client was able to flawlessly execute their safety protocols and ensure the safety of their students. The value of full circle safety communication is knowing that when an emergency occurs, you’ll be able to notify everyone and guide them through the process. To learn more about how we're connecting school districts and first responders, be sure to download this guide.

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