Florida DOE Selects AT&T to Provide School Safety Solution
Thursday, April 01, 2021 | Comments

The Florida Department of Education (DOE) selected AT&T to provide an instant emergency notification and coordinated emergency response solution to enhance school safety throughout Florida.

The system securely shares live video and directly connects school communications, including radio, with responding public-safety agencies so they can understand the situation, coordinate action and quickly resolve the incident.

The selection is part of the state’s Alyssa’s Law, which requires schools to install mobile panic buttons in every teacher and staff member’s mobile device to silently alert law enforcement to emergencies on campuses. Alyssa’s Law was named in honor of Alyssa Alhadeff, one of the students killed in the 2018 shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

With this solution, AT&T is collaborating with Mutualink to transform school panic buttons, powered by Raptor Technologies and Rave Mobile Safety. The smart emergency response platform instantly creates a near real-time connected emergency response and collaboration environment with responders to provide lifesaving critical information.

The system is a proven emergency communications platform to support a multi-agency response with direct connection between school administrators and first responders to share radio, video, data and text for silent communications.

“AT&T is deeply committed to creating safer communities and we align with the Florida Department of Education in their vision to keep students, teachers and staff safe,” said Brian Troup, vice president, public sector, AT&T. “Providing schools with fast and reliable communication solutions every day, especially during times of a crisis, can help save lives. We're honored to help enhance emergency communication safety measures in schools so parents, students and teachers feel safer and can focus on educating kids.”

Other features include:
• Management and integration with existing compliant technologies and panic alert infrastructure;
• Streamlined emergency response times with immediate and simultaneous notifications to campus staff, local public-safety answering points (PSAPs) and first responder agencies;
• Reduced time to incident resolution by enabling near real-time information sharing and communications between schools and multiple first responder agencies;
• Delivery of critical panic alert details, such as the location of emergency and key facility data;
• SAFETY Act certified and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) compliance; and
• The option to use the solution with FirstNet.

The state also created the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission to analyze information from the Parkland school shooting and other mass violence incidents in the state and address recommendations and system improvements. The commission released a report stating a school must be connected in real-time, with live-streamed video to first responders to create situational awareness to respond and resolve an incident. This solution includes interoperable communications technology that fills the gap the Alyssa’s Law statute requires.

“We wanted a technology to save lives,” said Captain Rick Francis, director of district school safety and security at Seminole County Public Schools. “We wanted the ability for each staff member to feel safe. We wanted to be able to quickly resolve any incident, so we chose AT&T and Mutualink. In my opinion, they are the only ones qualified for this statewide effort in Florida.”

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