HOMELAND SECURITY

New App to Alert First Responders to Emergencies

6/1/2016
By Yasmin Tadjdeh

During emergency situations, such as those involving active shooters, alerting authorities quickly can result in lives saved. One new app is helping to streamline that process.

Mutualink, a communication and multimedia company, has teamed up with Rave Mobile Safety, a public safety software company, to create a system that can, at the push of a button on a smartphone, alert authorities to emergency situations while connecting them to radio, video streams and building floor plans.

“What’s important to recognize with our panic button application is that we are directly integrated into the 911 system,” said Todd Miller, vice president of public safety services at Rave. “That means rather than simply notifying first responders and having them self dispatch, we’re going to bring this information directly into our local 911 centers which is incredibly important especially when you’re dealing with active shooter-type scenarios.”

Time is of the essence in such circumstances, he said. Active shooters situations are often finished within five to six minutes, he added.

Rave’s panic button is integrated with Mutualink’s emergency communication infrastructure that has been in use for years, said Mark Hatten, CEO of Mutualink.

Prior to the partnership with Rave, one “weak link” in Mutualink’s product was that its panic buttons were physical and stationary, he said.

“Hardware panic buttons tend to be deployed at a few locations around the school but not in every classroom, not necessarily where the person is that’s having the problem,” he said. “We looked into the industry and looked at … wireless type devices, devices that could be put on clients, and it became apparent to us that Rave was by far the leader in this space with the best product.”

The panic button can alert first responders, and other users, to a number of situations including shooters, fires and medical emergencies, Miller said. When an organization — such as a school, a hospital or a government agency — adopts the technology it is able to construct a virtual fence around the perimeter of the building.

“The panic button can respond one way when they’re on a facility and a different way if they’re outside that facility,” he said.

The app is compatible with iOS and Android-enabled smartphones.

Photo: Mutualink/Rave, iStock

Topics: Homeland Security, Science and Engineering Technology, Homeland Security, Research and Development

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