Chesterfield County Public Schools to implement emergency response app

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When it comes to the safety and care of Chesterfield County Public Schools students and staff members, every second matters. 

In 2018, the Chesterfield County Public Schools Safety Task Force was created to evaluate current protocols and best practices that ensure the school division is providing a safe, supportive and nurturing learning environment. 

This task force’s Work Group No. 2, which focused on school safety, recognized that seconds matter and recommended that the school division purchase an app or a physical alarm system that could alert administrators, law enforcement and first responders to a dangerous threat or emergency situation in a school. 

In response to this need, the school division announced today the implementation of the Rave Panic Button app, which will be placed on every school-based administrator’s cell phone. Members of the Central Office leadership team and key personnel within the police department will have access as well. 

Because every second is important, the RAVE panic button was designed to immediately connect and clearly communicate an emergency from a cell phone to the E911 center, on-site school administration teams, central office senior leadership team, and first responders. Whether it’s a medical emergency, fire, or an active threat in the building, notifications are delivered through the app to the county’s emergency communications center with the simple push of a button.

“We’ve drilled and drilled and drilled with staff and students, hoping to prepare them as best as possible on how to respond to a critical incident situation,” Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty said. “However, we also know that seconds matter should an emergency situation arise.

“We also know that depending on where you are in a school, you could be too far away from a phone, from cell service or from other opportunities to immediately connect with local law enforcement and other first responders. Seconds matter.” 

The school division recently was awarded a three-year grant to fund the project and help implement this potentially life-saving app.

“While we all hope that a principal never has to use the Rave Panic Button in response to a threatening situation, the School Board and I are excited to see this recommendation implemented,” said Clover Hill district representative, Dianne Smith. “When it comes to the safety of our students and staff, seconds matter, and every second counts.”

The RAVE app will be live and ready to use in all Chesterfield County Public Schools in January 2020.

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