Gwinn schools utilize new app to improve school safety

GWINN — The Gwinn Area Community Schools will be the first in the county to introduce a new tool to help keep students and teachers safe, with the help of Marquette County Central Dispatch. The newest tool for school safety is an app called Panic Button, by a company named RAVE, that will allow any faculty member to connect to 911 with only a touch of a button.

Faculty members were shown a presentation about the app and how it will also provide emergency services with better details on the location and type of emergency they may be facing. Once a school has set up their profile, their information can help dispatchers and emergency services even better.

“For 911, that facility profile that has been created, all of that information becomes immediately available to the dispatchers,” said Gary Johnson, the manager of Marquette County 911 and Emergency Management. “So school floor plans, any photographs, any contact information. All of that is available to the dispatcher, so they have a lot more information right at the start of the call as well.”

Along with notifying emergency services, the app can also alert other authorized members in the facility about an emergency that may be happening.

“Everyone in that facility that has the app downloaded and is authorized gets an alert,” Johnson added. Whatever the person is, you know, ‘Mrs. Smith has just dialed 911 for an active shooter.’ They all get that notification instantly when that is done. So now they can start their lock down procedures even before the school can sometimes even announce the lock down, they can start those procedures.”

Dispatchers will also be able send safety messages to anyone that has the app, and other schools in the area will be given a choice on if they would like to use the service as well.