Mobile and Desktop Apps Aid Texas Districts in Digital School Safety
Texas School Districts have implemented a variety of school safety mobile applications, including Share911, Mutualink, and the Rave Panic Button app.
- By Kaitlyn DeHaven
- July 05, 2019
Texas school districts have been looking to implement measures to increase school safety and have turned to mobile and desktop apps for better safety communication.
Share911, Mutualink, and the Rave Panic Button app are just a few of the applications that Texas schools are using to stay up to date on safety.
James McDonald with Boyd ISD said Share911 is used within the school as a simple way to increase safety communications.
“Fortunately, we’ve been blessed for only having to use it for our training purposes right now,” McDonald said. “We had an extensive time in the fall training our staff over using Share911. The simpler you can keep it, that makes it easier for them to adapt and make it become a habit.”
Share911 is a school safety app that enables simultaneous notification of 911 and co-workers, giving employees a way to reach out to medical help, as well as people nearby them who may be able to help.
CEO Erik Endress told KXAN that districts can tailor alerts to fit their needs, so all campuses use the same language when reporting an incident. He said in addition, the response time should be minimized with the app.
“When our system’s activated, not only do they notify their co-workers, they’re also notifying police who also have this on their own phone in the car,” Endress said.
Texas City ISD have started to use Mutualink and the Rave Panic Button app for their application security. Executive Director of Security and School Safety Michael Matranga said he’s seen the effectiveness through training and one false alarm incident.
“One teacher pushed the button and within under a minute-and-a-half, we had seven deputies on scene already,” Matranga said.
The Rave Panic Button app has six different emergency options, which include fire, active shooter and medical. In addition, users can send anonymous tips to all school staff via text or email through the app.
“In these situations, time is the enemy, so what the panic button does is it condenses the time to reach 911, for 911 to get first responders there, to notify ISD police and to apprehend the threat and to look after the people who are potentially injured,” said Brian O’Donnell with Rave Mobile Safety.
The Mutualink app helps law enforcement agencies and districts share radio, voice and other data across their entities.
“We have a console that sits inside an administrator’s office so in case of an emergency, that administrator can view the video and share it out with any of the first responders,” said Anthony Ferguson, solutions representative for Mutualink.
Kaitlyn DeHaven is the Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.