ARE YOU IN A SAFE PLACE?
- We would like to start by saying "thank you" to the men and women of dispatch centers all across America. The work you do takes guts and a large heart. It’s time to give you better tools to do your jobs more efficiently. It’s time to bring your abilities in life threat situations into the 21st century. It’s time you’re empowered beyond what’s the standard today so you can be more ready to combat the rising threats that our facing our schools.
"ARE YOU IN A SAFE PLACE?" is the first question in our "911 Questions" series that we will discuss, and it is the first question that should bring the hairs on the back of your neck to a standing position.
Put yourself in the shoes of someone stuck in an active shooter incident for a moment and think about how foolish the answer to this question would be if you were making the 911 call. Keep in mind that you could quite possibly have a shooter in your classroom, a classroom nearby or within an ear shot from where you are located.
You would have no protection and no recourse for combating a shooter from targeting you next. “Are you in a safe place?” Are you kidding me? This is the best intel gathering tactic there is to find out what’s happening in a life threat situation? Are we seriously expecting the victims who are under attack to pull out their cell phones and call 911 when they are trying to just stay alive? Not to mention the fact that some schools are now prohibiting children from carrying their cell phones, or in the case of an elementary school attack, the kids would be too young to have phones. Furthermore, a lot of rural schools have poor cell coverage and a call would not be able get out from certain parts of a building.
Lastly, what's talked about even less frequently is how bad the intel is from someone inside of an active shooter incident. Law Enforcement are only as capable as their intel. If there is a lack of information about an incident or bad information, time is lost sorting through the fractured data. Time is precious in a life threat situation and needs to be of a clear, concise and usable manner or those responding will be wasting time when they get to the scene. Wasted time equals lives lost.
- Virtual Command changes the scenario entirely and makes it not necessary for a student inside of a school to make a call or even worry about passing along information. With the Virtual Command technology a school is directly networked to the local law enforcement entities and sends out an emergency notification as soon as a shooter is even spotted. No longer will a call need to go out of a school for law enforcement to have the information they need to start to mitigate the incident. Children are no longer the ones who have the responsibility of informing law enforcement that there is a shooter in their school. Virtual Command gives the tools necessary for dispatch operators to take the command and control of an active shooter incident away from the shooter and puts it back into the hands of those arriving to the scene. Virtual Command empowers first responders by providing them the real-time, actionable intelligence they need to do their jobs in a more safe and effective manner.