(Video) Panic button installed in Volusia County schools
It’s no secret that COVID-19 made this year’s back-to-school season a challenge for students, parents, teachers and school administrators. However, school security professionals in Florida know that the safety of their students encompasses more than the threat of pandemic. It takes a panic alert and emergency communications technology. Lessons learned from the Parkland tragedy, and the shortcomings identified in the report from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission (within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement), have inspired some school districts to push through the hurdles posed by the health crisis. In Volusia County, Chief Michelle Newman installed Mutualink’s panic button and interoperability solution. She achieved smooth and seamless communications between the schools and the Volusia Sheriff’s Office.
Michelle Newman, Chief of Safety and Security for Volusia County Schools said. “It started with a demonstration of the solution during which it became clear that with the panic alert application and Mutualink’s interoperable emergency response platform, officers would arrive on scene knowing exactly what they need to do in order to quickly resolve any incident. But when the Mutualink team installed the solution in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I knew we had a game-changing partnership.”
Mutualink’s emergency communications solution is SAFETY Act certified by the US Department of Homeland Security. The interoperability platform provides real-time coordination between schools and first responder agencies. The panic button application calls 9-1-1, alerting the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). At the same time, school administrators connect to law enforcement. Through the radio bridge, officers receive situational awareness from within the school. They arrive better equipped to quickly resolve the incident.