School and government administrators have had an overwhelming volume and variety of unprecedented issues to handle these last two years. Not only has COVID-19 altered the physical and psychological landscape of schools, but there has also been an increase in serious incidents such as multi-victim homicides being perpetrated in educational facilities across the country. These frightening incidents have led many decision-makers in both education and government to explore the potential for emergency notification systems as a tool that enables rapid communication to first-responders who can mitigate damage and loss of life.
These emergency communications systems are typically initiated as soon as a school or building goes into lockdown. They allow administrators to communicate with emergency responders outside of the building to bring about a safer resolution to the incident whenever possible.
To help ensure the safety of our children at school, administrators are making strides to put strong safeguards in place that can help protect their communities, starting with a robust emergency alert system.
Three Main Features an Emergency Alert System Must Have
An emergency alert system, also called an emergency notification system, is a safety and communication solution designed to quickly broadcast emergency alerts and notify the proper channels, including police, students, and administrators inside and outside of the building. These notifications, along with a variety of other warning features, get the word out as quickly as possible. For example, they give instructions to those inside the building on whether they should evacuate or shelter in place.
However, every emergency notification system is not created equal. Here are a few features your school or municipality building’s emergency alert system must have in order to save lives.
The 20-Second Rule
The first 20 seconds of an emergency situation are undoubtedly the most critical. Your emergency alert system should be able to be activated from anywhere inside your building so that you aren’t wasting precious seconds in transit to a panic button that’s locked in an office or across the hall.
Once an alert is triggered, your emergency notification system should be fully automated. The last thing you want is to expend your resources and time doing things that could be handled by technology – removing the opportunity for human error. The best emergency alert solutions can do everything themselves, from the initial active shooter or lockdown alert to deliver pre-recorded emergency notifications to law enforcement and first responders. These notifications include everything from texts and computer pop-ups to audio and visual notifications for students, faculty and staff that are visually or hearing impaired both within the school buildings themselves.
Complete Campus Coverage
With many schools getting larger and more geographically spread out, it’s never been more important for an emergency notification system to be able to cover the entire school grounds. That means inside AND outside school buildings. Places like athletic fields and parking lots can often be overlooked, but also need to be included in the coverage plans.
LENS+OPTICS Delivers Safety and Peace of Mind
A safe school environment is an essential component of what conditions empower effective learning. When students feel unsafe, they are more likely to engage in risky behaviors and score notably lower on standardized tests. Over the last few years, the percentage of children who feel safe at school has declined, and concerns from both parents and children tend to be at their highest immediately following a high-profile school shooting.
Investing in an emergency notification system reassures parents and students that the safety of your school campus is top priority. The Lockdown Emergency Notification System (LENS) Solution from Eastern DataComm is a comprehensive system that offers improved overall communication during a lockdown or incident. Coupled with OPTICS, Eastern DataComm’s continuous monitoring service, you can rest easy knowing that the technology you have in place is ready to respond when it is needed most.
What to expect with LENS + OPTICS
Our LENS+ OPTICS can be integrated with a school district’s current communication system, thanks to the expertise of our safety and communications technicians. From there, the LENS Solution can be activated by pressing a lockdown button, dialing a code from an on-premise phone, or even activating from a smartphone application.
Once activated, the system plays an automated pre-recorded announcement over the school’s existing paging system, as well as around the perimeter of the grounds. It reaches external areas like sports fields and portable school classrooms. Audio and visual alerts like strobes and LED signboards are installed to ensure loud areas like the auditorium and cafeteria are adequately covered.
After the initial warning, automated calls with a pre-recorded lockdown message are sent to first responders like the local police and other key administrators throughout the district like the superintendent, principal, and school security staff. Notifications also include PC screen pop-ups, emails, and text messages about the lockdown event.
OPTICS, which continuously monitors components that affect LENS to ensure it is always running optimally. In the event of a crisis, LENS+ OPTICS is the force that provides those in charge of ensuring the safety of their school campus with the ability to handle any critical situation as best as possible.
Want to learn more about how it works? You can explore the details of our LENS Solution here.
Why Partner with Eastern DataComm?
Eastern DataComm developed LENS + OPTICS after working closely with state officials, local police, and other school safety experts. The sole focus of our work has been to create a solution that can expedite communication, allowing for quick action in response to a threat on school or municipality grounds.
From design, to set-up, to testing, to monitoring, we’ll be with you every step of the way to ensure that your chosen solution works for the unique safety needs that define your campus.
Work with Eastern DataComm to Deploy LENS + OPTICS as Your Emergency Notification System
Eastern DataComm has been working with hundreds of school districts for over 30 years to assist them with improving safety and communications through leveraging technology. Our continued goal has been to offer reassurance to students, faculty, and staff that they will be able to respond as quickly as possible in the event of an emergency.
Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive communication systems, and to discuss with our team of safety advisors what solutions might be best for your school’s needs.