Home > Event Management, Peak Performance > Protecting Our Kids Requires a Prepared Response

Protecting Our Kids Requires a Prepared Response

Thanks, Scott, for forwarding this.  I’m proud of my friends at Prepared Response. I was introduced to them last year by Ray O’Hara of Vance International – a guy who always knows what’s going on.  As Ray pointed out to me – if you are going to be in the security business, there is no more honorable way to make a living than by protecting our children.  And these guys at Prepared Response do it right.

The solution, built around SQL for flexible data management, collects data from hundreds of sources, including maps of the building, and plenty of info about the people and systems in the school (photos in and out, doors, door swings, windows, etc). If there is ever a crisis, law enforcement and first responders in general will have far more information than they normally would in order to deal with the situation effectively.

Last week, Prepared Response was awarded $7 Million to build the security databases for 1000 schools in five states. Congratuations!  The grant will assist the emergency preparations for publically funded schools.  However, so far, getting pirvate and parochial schools to step up security is still a "one-off" effort.  That is, you have to convince each school board one at a time to spend the money – as opposed to a federal grant which makes the solution affordable for a large number of schools. Let’s get the word out to private and public schools alike to engage Prepared Response.

Click below for the full press release.

Response, Inc. Awarded $7 Million for Student Safety

Responder Crisis Management System to Enhance Student Safety in more than 1,000
Schools Nationwide

WA – April 24, 2007
Prepared Response, Inc. (PRI), a
leading developer of crisis management planning and response systems, announced
today that it has been awarded $7 million to install the company’s Rapid
Responder® system in 1,000 schools in South Carolina, Texas, Arizona, Idaho, and
Washington state. The deployments are being funded through the U.S. Department
of Education’s Emergency Response and Crisis Management (ERCM) grant program and
other government funding sources. Rapid Responder currently protects more than
8,400 facilities across the U.S., including 1,650 schools and educational

Rapid Responder system was selected based on the company’s extensive experience
in school safety, the product’s ease of use, and the ability to easily update
facility information via the Web,” said Jim Finnell, president and CEO of
Prepared Response, Inc. “Another key factor was that Rapid Responder is the only
crisis management system ‘Certified’ by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
through the SAFETY Act. The certification process validates Rapid Responder as
an effective, reliable, and safe anti-terrorism technology and places Rapid
Responder on the DHS Approved Product
List for Homeland Security

Rapid Responder system aggregates over 300 data points about the school,
including floor plans, photos, evacuation routes, hazardous materials, etc.,
places it in a central, highly-secure database, and makes it available to
schools, police, fire, and other agencies via the Web or laptop computers. With
instant access to a shared database of critical facility information, school
safety teams, police, and fire can respond faster, in a more coordinated manner,
and with enhanced situational awareness.

According to school officials, one of the major
advantages of the Rapid Responder system is the company’s collaborative approach
to emergency planning. PRI’s highly experienced professional services team
facilitates meetings between school officials and first responders, including
police, sheriff, fire, and others, that fosters dialog and builds relationships.
During these pre-planning meetings, the various agencies discuss each other’s
needs and how they can collaborate and coordinate their response during a wide
variety of emergency situations, from shootings and lockdowns to fires,
earthquakes, tornadoes, and hazmat spills.

# # #

Prepared Response, Inc.

Prepared Response Inc. develops crisis management
planning and response systems that enable police, fire, and other emergency
responders to save lives and mitigate property damage. The company’s flagship
product, Rapid Responder, runs on laptop computers and allows first responders
to instantly access more than 300 site-specific data points, including tactical
plans, floor plans, aerial and geospatial (GIS) imagery, interior and exterior
photos, staging areas, hazardous materials locations, utility shut-offs, and
evacuation routes for virtually any facility. The Rapid Responder system
protects more than 8,400 facilities and is currently being deployed in
educational facilities, public buildings, critical infrastructure, and private
facilities across the U.S.

  1. April 30, 2007 at 9:06 am

    While I am very happy to hear that there are proactive measures being put in place for school safety, it always comes down to the money.
    It’s not 100% clear to me from what I am reading here… but where did the 7 million come from? Did each school system have to chip in? Did it come from the Federal Government? State Governments?
    If the money is coming from the school systems to have this security installed, then I see how it can be compared. (the term “grant” leads me to believe they are receiving outside money) But if these schools are receiving outside help in order for this to be accomplished then here’s what is happening…
    Public schools – already getting automatic money that won’t be taken away from them as far as “tuition type money” now are getting help with installing security.
    Private schools – no matter their type – must rely on tuition and possibly donations from former students to run the entire school. They won’t receive any grant money to offset these costs – therefore the entire cost of putting in extra security is landed on the parents paying tuition. Depending on the cost of the system – this could be considerable.
    Most (not all of course) private schools run a fine line on costs. They have so many things to consider in educating children. Extra security, while a wonderful thing, may not be possible, financially speaking.
    Having paid my share of tuition costs while my kids were in school… and juggling the expense in my budget, I have to say I’d be a wet blanket on the whole parade. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a wonderful thing… but cost-benefit can’t be thrown out because it’s wonderful. And yes, my kids went to school in a very very marginal area. So I know all about safety concerns and kids. For most parents in that position – just having kids in private school as opposed to public, is a huge safety boost.

  2. May 2, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    Teresa, I just wrote a long response to you about government funding and annualized loss expectancy, blah blah blah… and then deleted it. My gut says that improving security at schools is a good use of money – but I did not consider where the money would have to come from. and I also did not design, yet, the optimal school security architecture that would not inhibit the quality of life (or education) of the students. … I’ll noodle on that.

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