PALO ALTO, CA – 01-04-2019 (PRDistribution.com) — It is official, we’ve heard this week that the Parkland School Shooting Commission has issued their report. They are recommending that teachers should be allowed to carry guns if they undergo firearms training. The “teachers with guns” debate has been the source of many heated arguments throughout the country for months, and it is probably safe to safe that the country is divided right down the middle on the subject. However, in the midst of all the debating and arguing, there is a Silicon Valley company that is offering a neutral solution for everyone. “No matter what your position is on guns in the classroom, the fact is that no one knows the condition of a classroom better that the teachers who are in them. Until now, there hasn’t been an effective way for teachers to communicate their needs with first responders during an emergency. 9-1-1 dispatch gets bogged down by hundreds of calls in emergencies like a school shooting, and it becomes very difficult for anyone to determine what information is accurate. We need to arm our teachers with the ability to communicate effectively with emergency responders,” says Mike Jacobs, CEO and the creative thinker behind SafeGuard School Systems.
Jacobs and his team have developed a mobile application called SafeGuard OES (Operations of Emergency Services) that works in conjunction with technology (SafeGuard Connects) installed in every classroom. Teachers can download the app to their phones, tablets, or smartwatches and not only communicate their condition, but their specific location as well. Jim Fuda, the Director of Law Enforcement Services for Crime Stoppers Global Solutions and retired King County, WA Sheriffs Commander said, “SafeGuard OES is hands down the best application I’ve seen out there.” Other applications rely on GPS to help emergency responders find their person in need. But if you’ve tried to use GPS technology inside a building, you’ll know that GPS can be anywhere between 16ft and 1000ft off its mark. “When it comes to emergencies like a school shooting, teachers need something that can pinpoint their specific location for police. SafeGuard not only uses GPS, but works with SafeGuard Connects to give teachers and law enforcement exactly that,” says Jacobs. SafeGuard OES allows teachers to communicate four different conditions which include stable, unstable, assistance needed, and medical emergency. Each condition is assigned a specific color for quick reference. School administrators and emergency responders are given management access to the application, where they are alerted to the emergency and can oversee campus wide communication as it comes in. With SafeGuard’s very easy color coding process, emergency responders are able to focus their efforts where it is needed most. The application offers a map view that shows the area of trouble and can also help navigate responders to the location if they are not familiar with the campus. It also offers them a chat option to securely speak with the person who has initiated communication. “I think we need to do a better job at helping our law enforcement. Let’s face it, they want to go home to their families at the end of the day too. They have wives, husbands, and children waiting for them just like everyone else. There’s no reason why they should have to run into a campus with bullets flying and not have an idea of where the bullets are coming from…not in the technological age that we’re living in,” said Jacobs. No one has died in a school fire in over 50 years because of the training and technology that has been implemented and made mandatory by local, state, and federal government. When a fire alarm is activated on a school campus, firemen and administrators are able to look at the fire panel and learn where the activation has occurred. According to the New York Times however, nearly 140 people have been killed in school shootings since the Sandy Hook attack in 2012. It stands to reason why tools like SafeGuard OES haven’t become mandatory to help prevent injuries and the loss of life during mass shootings. Mike Jacobs believes that the “gun debate” is partially to blame. He said, “I have worked in the California public school system for nearly 20 years and consider myself a visionary in the safety and emergency management fields. That said, I’m only one person and my company is limited in its impact. The gun debate is important, but we cannot place all our hope in just one solution. I’m wired to think outside the box, and I refuse to believe that creating laws for or against guns is going to fix all our problems with mass shootings. These attacks are becoming more sophisticated and we need to be ready. I have lots of ideas and I’d love to work with the larger tech companies of the world like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, or Facebook to come up with better solutions than what we’re currently using.” School violence isn’t just a U.S. problem, it is a global problem. In fact, the worst school attack on record wasn’t even in the U.S., it was within the Russian Federation and the attackers didn’t limit their use of weapons to guns.
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