Arkansas state legislators announced that their state would be the first to provide schools with a new panic-button security tool designed to expedite response times in times of crisis.
As reported by the Times Record, the new security measure comes as part of the 2015 School Safety Act for which the state is contracting with communication software developer, Rave Mobile Safety to equip school districts with the ability to simultaneously contact appropriate emergency and school personnel in emergency situations.
The proposal was signed into law by Governor Asa Hutchinson and the legislation mandates that every school in Arkansas will have a panic-button system integrated into the state’s Smart911 emergency call system. The systems must be operational by September 1.
The system, which operates via a smartphone app, is expected to give designated school district personnel at more than 1,000 schools the ability to connect in near real time with emergency personnel, adding a new layer of safety for the some 475,000 Arkansas students.
The “panic button” smartphone app interface allows users to select the type of emergency situation the campus is facing, as well as enables them to send that information to other school personnel and emergency responders. The program is being launched through a $950,000 contract between Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and Rave Mobile Safety.