Mapping Out Technology’s Role During a School Emergency

by Thomas Prewett

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Today’s campus security measures do a lot to ensure the safety of learners while at school. However, gaps in most institutions’ approaches to on-campus safety leave a lot to be desired — and students agree. A recent survey found that 82% of college students are concerned with personal safety while on campus and that more than half of them report feeling “very” or “extremely” concerned.

With the help of the latest technology and safety features, our schools can, and should, be much safer. Integrated technology solutions, from panic buttons to AI-powered cameras, can help bolster campus security efforts that identify threats, alert monitoring agents, 911, and dispatch first responders quicker.

Below, we’ve mapped out the stages of an active shooter emergency and how technology can play a transformative role throughout the duration of a school-related emergency. 

1. Assailant arrives near a school and is recognized by AI-powered cameras

If an assailant arrives near school, AI-powered cameras like the ones available from ZeroEyes can help identify that threat by recognizing objects of interest, such as a firearm.

Once one of their cameras identifies a potential threat, ZeroEyes verifies the incident and notifies the appropriate 911 center through the RapidSOS intelligent safety platform and connects first responders with powerful data including an image of the assailant, their location, and more.

By connecting this data directly to 911 through the RapidSOS Intelligent Safety Platform, RapidSOS Ready threat detection solutions like ZeroEyes,
VSBLTY, and more help improve response times, provide as much situational awareness to officers before they arrive on the scene, and prevent incidents from escalating. 

2. Assailant attempts to enter a school and staff activate a panic button

If an assailant attempts to enter a campus, administrators can leverage panic buttons that connect directly to RapidSOS Safety Agents, 911, and first responders through the RapidSOS platform.

Raptor Technologies, for example, is transforming school safety with Raptor Alerts – a mobile panic button app. School staff use Raptor Alerts to contact 9-1-1, while simultaneously delivering additional data about the emergency and school building to first responders.

Additional data from Raptor Alerts can include the name of the caller, call back number, type of emergency, school name, school address, and more. 

Life-saving data from panic buttons like Raptor and Centegix, connected directly to 911 through RapidSOS, further enhances responders’ situational awareness before they arrive on the scene and helps save lives when every second counts.

3. Tracking and neutralizing the threat smart body cams

Once first responders arrive and are working to diffuse the situation, they can connect mapping, multimedia, and additional data back to 911 in real-time.

Through smart body cameras integrated with RapidSOS, like the ones offered by Axon, dispatchers can tap into first responders’ locations via their body cams. This capability allows involved school and government officials to receive live updates on the whereabouts of emergency personnel.

Having access to real-time data through RapidSOS leads to a more coordinated end-to-end response from the caller facing an emergency, to first responders in the field.

What Schools Look for in Technology Partners To Keep Their Communities Safe
With the arrival of new school safety legislation like Alyssa’s Law, school districts today are ramping up spending on technological safety solutions with a 48% increase in schools using panic buttons or silent alarms with a direct connection to law enforcement in November 2022.

However, in order to be selected as a preferred safety partner, technology companies need to possess a few key traits that schools look for to ensure they’re providing the best possible connection to 911.

Scalability – Technology companies in the school safety industry need to be able to integrate into a decentralized, local run emergency response system. With each ECC, police department, fire department being funded and run at a hyper-local level the company that can deliver true nationwide coverage will become the partner of choice for tech that needs to be connected to 911.

Flexibility – Not only are the emergency response systems hyper-local, but each school district is implementing school safety in a slightly different way. As such, it’s important for technology partners to offer dynamic, flexible solutions that meet the unique needs of each individual district.

Ease and Speed of Integration – School safety technology companies need to prove that they can easily integrate as a piece of the district’s solution or as the sole provider and that they can be up and running quickly to ensure compliance with any legislation where applicable.

Solutions that possess these traits are far more likely to align with the needs of each district and help transform school safety at each stage of a potential emergency.

Does your business develop life-saving technology that can help make our schools and communities safer?
Contact RapidSOS today to learn more about how to connect your technology to RapidSOS Safety agents, 911, and first responders to help keep school districts safe across the country.


If your emergency communications center is interested in learning more about these critical integrations, contact your engagement manager.