In light of the recent shootings at the Navy Base in Washington, D.C., it’s important to think about what our responses should be in an emergency. In situations with an active shooter, locking the door is one of the quickest things to do for people to protect themselves, but it’s often not enough. A locked door isn’t difficult for a determined shooter to shoot or break through. A barricaded door can protect better against bullets and can more effectively prevent an intruder from entering a room or breaking through a door.
However, barricades take time to create and a messaging system that can get instructions to the correct people in seconds rather than minutes can save many lives. A network-centric emergency communication system such as MessageNet Connections would be able to get a message out more quickly, which is vital in a situation where every second counts.
Emergency communication systems also needs to be location-aware and to be able to send different messages to different locations. In the event of an armed intruder, a message sent to cell phones wouldn’t be able to provide accurate instructions for everyone, because the same message would be sent out to everyone regardless of location. A system that can send messages out based on location, even including building and room number, could provide instructions to non-affected buildings requesting evacuation, while providing instructions to those in the same building as the shooter to barricade the doors. This would also save more lives, because an action that would save people in one location could endanger people in another unless everyone has the appropriate directions for their location and its circumstances.
Cameras in classrooms are a valuable tool for a variety of reasons. They can be used for video conferences or for classroom-based morning announcements. They can even be used for classroom observation, which can be a useful resource for teachers to initiate a video recording of incidences in the classroom or to identify and document bullying.
Cameras can also be vital for emergency situations. Not only can they record an event to be analyzed after the fact, but they can also pop and display live video feeds from the point of interest to staff PCs and digital signage. Additionally these cameras can deliver live video feed to police, fire fighters, or other emergency responders. Having advanced knowledge of a situation can mean saving more lives.
Posted in Education, Emergency Communication, Everyday Communication
Tagged Camera, digital signage, emergency, everyday, hdtv, live, MediaPort, recorded, routing, school, Technology
In an emergency, like the mass-shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, seconds matter enormously. An event of that nature is impossible to predict, and thus impossible to completely prevent, but if improving the speed and effectiveness of emergency communications can save at least one life, then it’s vital to do so. An emergency management and notification system needs to be able to provide specific, relevant instructions to different groups of people, give different sets of information to students, teachers, and parents, and to quickly notify and inform the police or other emergency responders.
Security features that can warn of an impending emergency are also vital. Features such as glass-break detectors, wireless panic buttons, fire panel integration, audio/visual PA, cameras, and location-aware way-finding can prevent bullying, save lives, and overall make schools a safer place without the hassle, expense, limitations or risk of armed security guards. While a security guard could provide some level of protection, it’s very expensive to employ even one inflatable water slides for sale. Also, a security guard cannot be in more than one room at a time, while cameras can be in every room and can project a live feed to first emergency responders and police, providing situational awareness so they can be prepared for the situation.