Nonprofit Donates Mobile Alert Platform to Schools, Universities
Tuesday, April 23, 2019 | Comments

The Safety Alerts for Education Foundation (SAFE) announced that it is donating the Safety Alerts for Education (S.A.F.E.) emergency mobile alerts platform to all schools, colleges and universities across the U.S. free and in perpetuity. The same system has been in use by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA); other federal, state and local agencies; and police departments across the country for the past seven years.

The SAFE Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by the principals of Ping4 of Nashua, New Hampshire. Ping4 invented and developed the Ping4Alerts emergency communications technology that the foundation uses. The system is offered and implemented in New Hampshire and Massachusetts schools. The same system was used during the Boston Marathon bomber manhunt and in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

S.A.F.E may save lives in situations where a few extra seconds of warning can be the difference between life and death. The system enables schools to send geographically precise emergency alerts, anonymously, and in real time, to nearly any smartphone in any school building or on any campus. The system provides real-time instructions to those inside school buildings to better protect themselves and get out of harm's way quicker. First responders outside can also receive valuable information in real time from inside a building, even before they arrive on the scene, reducing response times and giving greater situational awareness of a shooter or other emergency.

“We are pleased to be among one of the first educational institutions in the country to encourage usage of this important and meaningful smartphone application, in an effort to keep our schools safe,” said Frank Edelblut, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Education. “As more schools opt in, everyone connected to the school community — educators, parents and students — will be able to stay informed during an emergency.”

Parents of children in the school can preset "watched locations" on their own phone, so that they will receive all alerts sent to their children at school, as well as designated, safe child pick-up locations, regardless of where the parents are at the time. Each school or school system can customize, manage and send out its own alerts via an easy to use web-based portal. S.A.F.E. can isolate a school building or campus on a map and only those in the designated areas will receive the alerts.

“When we reviewed every after-action report of school shootings across the country communications was always an issue,” said Perry Plummer, director of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for New Hampshire. “How do we let the people know what they should do to protect themselves and how do we let parents know that their child is safe and where to pick them up.”

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