At SchoolSAFE, we get many questions about school safety, best practices, and how to make communities more savvy in how they prepare for emergencies. We recently received several great inquiries about school safety practices from SchoolSAFE users, including: how do school districts handle preventative maintenance for emergencies? And, are first responders and school districts required to participate in training together to become SchoolSAFE Certified?
Every school district is unique in their planning and execution of safety practices. One of our best examples of preparation and proactivity is in Pueblo, Colorado. The school district started by discussing various all-hazards scenarios at each school and referred to the district’s crisis plans to effectively respond. By doing so, administrators, teachers, and local public safety agencies were able to discover, mold, and develop best practices for teamwork day-to-day and during emergencies. They later learned that their ultimate tool for effective teamwork is the two-way radio in the schools. It enables each school to connect directly with professional responders and district personnel, putting everyone on a reliable, common channel to expedite the response.
First responders came to the table and provided their input on how the school could improve their response. They focused on the initial trigger to the incident - lock down, lock out, evacuate or shelter, how and when the schools call 9-1-1, and how to evaluate a situation and share information “in real time.” Through the SchoolSAFE Certified Ready Schools Program by Motorola Solutions, relationships between school personnel and first responders flourished. The program required teamwork and training for all entities involved, FCC licensed radios, the SchoolSAFE physical network that bridges the channels together, tactical interoperable communications exercises, and continuing education throughout the partnership.
We have seen that decision-makers in both the school district and public safety grasp the importance of working together to create the most effective and timely response.
Do your students and community a favor, and share this information with your school or district. We need to work together to help fund and implement the technologies and procedures that enable teamwork among school and district-based responders as well as professional public safety responders. We are here to help your community discuss, plan, and implement your next steps. We appreciate educators and first responders for all that they do and for reaching out to us on this very important subject.
Contact us to learn more about how you can bring SchoolSAFE to your district.
Patrick Hobby is the Founder and President of SchoolSAFE Communications, a Motorola Solutions Partner.
Finding money for technology solutions can be a bit of a head-scratcher. Do you have the budget? No? How can you find funds to support the proposal? Grants? So what grants are available?
In order to help our customers fund the various implementations of SchoolSAFE throughout the country, we’ve had to be rather resourceful. SchoolSAFE enhances community partnerships by providing schools the ability to communicate directly and in real-time with law enforcement, fire and EMS during an incident. As schools across the nation evaluate and look to improve the level of safety district-wide, oftentimes budgets are the barrier.
Over 260 schools districts nationwide have been able to implement SchoolSAFE, often with very creative financing methods. One district was able to raise money for SchoolSAFE with fundraising events. Another followed the cost-share model, asking each participating entity to fund a small piece of the total proposal, rather than relying on one organization to pay for the entire project. Another school found funds through the E-911 Authority Board since SchoolSAFE helps dispatchers and communications centers keep their communities and children safe.
However, when those options are not available where else can you find funding? Motorola Solutions partners with EducationGrantsHelp, a division of Praetorian Digital, offering a comprehensive solution to help schools secure grant funding. The Grant Assistance Program through EducationGrantsHelp is free for Motorola customers. Not only do they actively seek out available grants through various sources (government grants, corporate grants, private entity grants, etc), they will review grants in the writing process and provide invaluable input. For Motorola customers, grant writing is also available for a discounted fee.
The success rate is quite impressive, too. Currently, their grant writing success rate is 60% higher than the national average.
We are extremely excited about working with this group. With their expertise and guidance, we will be able to help find the monies needed to improve communications between schools and first responders. You can get the same assistance, too.
To request free grant assistance for your organization, visit www.educationgrantshelp.com/motorola
Tori Tucker is the Marketing Director at SchoolSAFE Communications