School Safety & the Role of Effective Communications

Increased emphasis on School Safety Programs have had a profound influence on the safety and security of students in recent years. In these uncertain times having effective communications strategies – and the accompanying equipment required to make them efficent –  is of vital importance. School lockdowns drills have become a mandatory practice, much the same as fire drills and safety assemblies. It is crucial to have all staff and teachers properly equipped and well versed in communications practices and procedures in the event of an incident.

While schools are under significant pressure to strengthen safety and improve efficiency they are also asked to do so with the constraint of tighter budgets. While dependable communications are a key requirement to keep all students and staff safe in a potentially erratic situation, it requires the input and expertise of an experienced communications specialist to ensure that requirements are met within the approved financial framework.

The majority of the Alberta schools started with standard walkie talkies, providing basic radio communication from front offices, to classrooms, to outdoor recesses, to inside lunchrooms. This proved to be inadequate, as they quickly arrived at the realization that there was little-to-no reliability, cross channel chatter on unsecured frequencies, a lack of range and campus-wide coverage, and many other issues. It soon became obvious that at the very least a base model professional radio system was required to deal with these key issues. Professional system design and implementation was also a key requirement, to ensure all the required criteria were managed and met throughout the adoption process. It was established that a reliable district-wide communication system needs to be in place to streamline safety operations and coordinate an emergency response.

Several radio solutions providers, including Motorola, Vertex Standard, and Harris, offer a broad catalog of two-way radio solutions that fulfil the requirements of modern school safety programs, with scalable solutions based on technical needs, design complexity and budgetary constraints. The procurement of a reliable, clear, and full-coverage two-way radio system, the proper training of the system users, and implementation of concise communication procedures and strategies in the event of an emergency is the cornerstone of an effective school safety program. If you’d like to discuss the benefits of effective communications strategies or equipment, or any of the issues I’ve mentioned above, I’d be more than happy to answer any of your questions. You can contact me through the form below. I look forward to hearing from you.

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