College Planning & Management

JUN 2013

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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in the know en h a nci ng + engagi ng + c on n ec t i ng JU ne 2 013 this mon th 50 emerging technology 51 tech watch 52 tech upgrade Get the Word Out Communication is key, especially during emergencies. Technology can help spread the word. by Karen Spring I n terms of security, one only needs to be reminded of the horror at Virginia Tech in 2007 when a gunman opened fre on unsuspecting students and faculty to know that campus safety and protection of students, professors, and personnel take precedence over everything else. And while it's easy for a group of experts to talk about security topics in a closed-door meeting, ensuring the safety of an entire campus with multiple buildings spread out over a large area is an entirely different matter. Notifying a large number of people in a severely limited amount of time about an emergency situation can seem almost impossible. Yet, that's where technology comes in, and such technology isn't just allowing for the communication of an important message to be made easier. It can end up saving lives. Voice communications, two-way radios, and digital signage are all being utilized by American colleges in different capacities for security purposes. In terms of voice communications, calls can be placed to 911 operators or other emergency personnel for 48 assistance. Also, emergency notifcations can be transmitted to any phone or mobile device using a voice message, email, or text alert. Two-way radios, which are often considered a low-cost solution, are used by campus security offcials during emergency situations, for reporting incidents, and for getting and receiving critical information. Digital signs, which project images to display content, can be quickly updated so as to provide up-to-the minute information during critical incidents. It is important to note, too, that all of these technologies can serve multiple purposes. That's an ideal thing to consider when implementing, because the schools using these technologies can receive the maximum bang for every buck that they are spending. Two-Way Radios It is often expected that when an incident occurs, the best product to use to call for help or assistance is a cell phone, but actually, that's not the case. Cell phones can fail, and it takes precious seconds COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / JUNE 2013 to dial a number or scroll through the contacts in a list to fnd the right person for help. Also, cell phones only allow the user to make contact with one person. Two-way radios provide a wealth of great features for a college to utilize, especially in terms of security. Two-way radios allow for quicker operations and instant access during a crisis. The radios are equipped with buttons, so that all it takes is one push for the user to be in contact with the university's security force, police, maintenance personnel, or other individuals. The radios allow for people to converse immediately with other individuals, including groups of other people. Security buttons on the radios can be set up ahead of time to connect to a dispatcher, a local police department, or another entity so that in the case of an emergency, one push makes the connection. "Many times, in an emergency, a person will need to speak to multiple individuals at once," says Keith Kemmerline, system architect for Motorola Solutions. "In this case, a two-way radio enables www.PLANNING 4EduCATION.COM

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