May 14, 2013 Leave a comment
Ekahau school safety badge pictured above.
KTVB of Idaho reports that Ekahau Real-Time Location System (RTLS) scored an A+ in the lockdown drill at Skyview High School yesterday afternoon. Skyview was very pleased with speed of the system so emergencies are attended in under a minute. “From the time I pulled it [panic switch], to the time the announcement went off, it was probably 15 seconds. And then less than a minute before Officer Ford walked in, so it was very fast,” said senior Toby Anderson, the student who activated the lockdown alarm. Police Chief Craig Kingsbury said, “There’s no waiting. There’s no explaining. You’re not going to lose precious seconds trying to justify why you need help. Help’s just going to come.” Chief Kingsbury is sharing the test results from Skyview High School to show police departments across Idaho how well Ekahau RTLS works for school safety. Chief Kingsbury hopes to get Ekahau RTLS system into every Idaho school.
When the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) badge’s panic switch or ripcord is pulled by a staff member, this triggers the school to go into instant lockdown. Also, every badge holder receives an alert notifying them of the lockdown, so classrooms can be secured quickly and effectively. The school’s resource officer’s badge alerts him of the location of the emergency (and police dispatch also receives this information instantly) so he can respond in less than a minute.
“One of the biggest positives of the [RFID] badges is the shortened response time in a serious situation”, Will Barber, Skyview’s Lead Building Administrator, said. “Previously, teachers had to leave the classroom or call the school’s office to get help in an emergency.”
One teacher reports that she already used the system for a real emergency. “I actually used it [Ekahau RTLS] a week ago for a health emergency that happened in my class, and they came really quick for that too. So this is actually the second time I was able to use it, and it was really fascinating,” said English teacher Terri Bentley. Also, Bentley commented that she was attacked leaving school ground a few years ago and system like this would have been very valuable to have then.
The Idaho Press Tribune reports that before the installation of the Ekahau RTLS system, the school’s secretary was the designated person who could issue a school lockdown using the intercom system. But Police Chief Kingsbury said this system was problematic because it took much longer to issue the lockdown and even more time lost to figure out where to send the school’s resource officer. “If an active shooter were to take that person out, there’s no other person to call a lockdown,” Kingsbury said. “But now, any staff can call a lockdown. This makes it [emergency response protocol] less dangerous.”
The Idaho Statesman reported over the weekend that Skyview High School in Nampa, Idaho is the very first to test a new ID badge system that can alert everyone of a school emergency and send the location of the person in distress. The notification badge technology is called RTLS and uses the school’s Wi-Fi network to send help messages directly to police and all other staff members carrying the RFID badges with the wearer’s exact location. This system is different than most common notification systems because the location of the wearer is available in real-time. The police or other staff members can view floor maps of the school and see exactly where all staff members wearing the RFID badges are located. RTLS is currently used in several verticals including mental health for staff duress.
For more information on how Ekahau RTLS works for school safety, check out our school safety solution case study from a deployment in German school system.