Increasing School Safety through Enhanced Communication with First Responders

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When you have a school district covering 200 square miles, 12 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, 4 high schools and 5 charter schools, clear and rapid communication is paramount during a crisis.

With 17,500 students and additional staff members and visitors to protect, a reliable and efficient system was vital. Previously, no one system was in use; people relied on cellphones with intermittent coverage, landlines and two-way radios from multiple vendors.

“It was truly a game of ‘telephone’ at times, with dispatch summarizing the information provided by the caller,” said Bobby Noel, Battalion Chief with South Adams County Fire Protection District based in Commerce City, Colorado.

The district turned to a uniform two-way radio system and provided training for all staff members. Immediate improvements included:

  • Direct connection with first responders: School-based radio systems connect directly and securely with radios used by first responders. Emergency personnel and school officials can communicate in real-time during the entire span of an incident.
  • Increased accuracy in reporting: Because multiple people can exchange information at one time, eyewitnesses can detail changing circumstances, instead of relying on one person who is tied to a telephone and may not have the most up-to-date information. That allows first responders to change their responses as new information is relayed.
  • Uniform training for staff: With just one system in use, training is simplified and all employees are on the same page when reporting an emergency.
  • Expanded outlets: Each school can use a different channel so they can talk with their own teams, as well as a shared channel with the other schools to discuss a situation as it develops.

Download our free whitepaper to learn more about how one school district increased school safety through enhanced communication with first responders.

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