Drills don’t have to be time consuming, expensive or complex. Instead, they need to be organized, direct and cohesive. Remember when practicing drills at your school, you are practicing just as you would if you were responding to an incident. Ensure staff are aware a drill will take place during a designated time frame and prepare your first responders ahead of time by alerting them of all upcoming drills. Read More
Shamus P. O'Meara
August 25, 2015
The security of school buildings has become a predominant safety topic in school communities following the school shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. School and university leaders across the country are seeking the guidance of legal counsel, architects, engineers, and security professionals to assess the security of school and campus buildings and recommend design changes for the protection of students, staff, and visitors from armed intruders and incidents of violence. Once the subject of nerdy seminars among security vendors, incorporating crime prevention principles in the design of school buildings is fast becoming an integral part of safe school planning. Bulletproof glass, relocation of offices, sight lines, integrated cameras and lighting, and reconfigured traffic patterns are now the subject of discussion among school design teams.1 In response to the Sandy Hook tragedy, the Connecticut legislature passed laws to develop safety standards for school building projects including model plans available to schools.2 Across the country, legal counsel for schools and higher education institutions, along with their school design and construction partners, face difficult liability and risk management decisions involving security in public buildings. This article highlights federal and state guidance and the legal risks involved with school and campus security design.3 Read More
August 17, 2015
Guest Post by Brianna Cook
As the school year begins, I am preparing the speech that I will give to my residents on how to remain safe on and off campus. In addition to being a Resident Assistant, I am also the student worker for the Columbia College Police Department, which gives me great insight into how safety on college campuses works and how beneficial it is knowing effective ways to respond to emergencies and keep yourself safe.
At Columbia College, we are lucky enough to have a police force that provides numerous resources for students to ensure they know how to stay safe both on and off campus. They provide courtesy escorts, have a 24/7 emergency line that connects directly to officer radios, and maintain emergency call boxes around campus. Read More
August 12, 2015
Rapid Responder Users Can Now Send Alerts in Real Time During Any Incident from Any Location
Rapid Responder Easy Alert utilizes brand new technology to allow internal communication for emergencies and non-emergencies alike. If you are looking for a way to easily alert and communicate with staff and first responders, and one that is fully integrated with Rapid Responder for no additional cost, look no further. It is designed to be used in real-time and allow instant information about drills and events. Users can post images, report their exact location and engage in chat feed with other active users.
Read our press release to learn more about how Easy Alert simplifies the emergency response process for any place of worship, school, healthcare facility, and/or commercial facility.
August 6, 2015
Lafourche parish school district continues to increase student and school safety with upgrades
I recently had the privilege to speak with Seth Holloway of the Lafourche Parish School District in Louisiana. Seth is the Safety & Maintenance Manager for the district and was excited to explain how his schools were starting a major security upgrade to all of their facilities. Not only that, the Lafourche Parish School District is a long time user of Rapid Responder Emergency Preparedness and Crisis Management System and plans to continue utilizing the system along with the new available features such as Easy Alert. Read my interview With Seth Holloway to learn how his schools are leading the way for new security technology.
S.C.: What have you used Rapid Responder for?
S.H.: We currently use Rapid Responder for our crisis plans and especially like that we can
easily revise them in Rapid Responder. We also log our drills in the system, and for the high schools, we use Rapid Responder to log dangerous chemicals on the property.
July 22, 2015
First Responders are busy and work in high stress situations every day, but that doesn’t mean they are unwilling to help your school meet their safety and security needs. Today we will end our school safety committee series by giving you tips on how to effectively meet and train with first responders to meet your safety goals.
Invite Them with Advanced Notice
First responders are always willing to meet with schools in order to keep them as safe as possible, but with their hectic schedules, they must have meetings scheduled well in advance. This goes for all first responders including law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services.
Train for Specific Incidents
When planning your training with first responders, plan for a specific event. EMS should be present and actively training on emergencies such as CPR and First Aid, while fire professionals should actively train for containing fires. Read More
July 21, 2015
This morning we explained the roles and responsibilities of your safety team members and how adhering to those will help to increase the efficiency of a cohesive response. This afternoon, we want to give you a list of items that should be discussed at your committee meetings. These are guidelines and as such, should be tailored to meet the needs of your school safety team. Below are a few broad topics that should be discussed often at your safety committee meetings.
Funding Requests should be a topic that is opened often, if not every month for your meetings. During this time, members can request new items that they believe are needed to continue safety. Some examples of these requests might be: megaphones, two-way radios, vests, hand-held stop signs, and flashlights. Read More
July 21, 2015
Yesterday, we started our series by discussing how school safety committees help to foster a safer and more secure learning environment. Today, we want to give you a to-do list for each role in the safety committee. It will outline their responsibilities that will lead to a more cohesive response to emergencies. First, it is important to remember the different members that should make up your committee: the principal, a counselor, the nurse, the school resource officer, a teacher, and the facilities coordinator. Each person has a specific role that they must perform and responsibilities that produce a unified response during emergencies.
July 20, 2015
Schools without effective safety committees miss the mark on rounding out a safe and secure learning environment for their students. Effective safety committees can help prevent unsafe conditions and provide efficient responses to emergencies when they arise. Committees can provide revision for current safety policies and procedures, help engage with your first responders and provide ongoing safety information to parents, staff and the community. If your school doesn’t have a safety committee, consider ways to create one and for established committees, think of ways to increase participation. By doing so, your efforts will help create a safer school environment. Read More
July 17, 2015
School Resource Officers (SROs) are a safety and security asset that many schools utilize on a daily basis. They serve as a liaison for the school and the community and also provide counseling and positive interactions with students and staff. If you are unsure how a SRO effectively adds to the security of your school, consider these qualities that they typically offer. Read More