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Ref: School system employs emergency management system


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Kershaw County School District Installs Crisis Management System

Written by Prepared Response, Inc.
Monday, 09 July 2007
CAMDEN, SC- July 9, 2007- When Kershaw County schools open on August 20, one of the new features welcoming students and staff will be a state-of-the art crisis management system that allows instant computer access to key facility and resource information.

“We received a federal grant last year that allowed us to put all pertinent information about all our buildings into one system that can be easily accessed on laptop computers,” said Jeff Jordan, who oversees emergency preparedness operations for the Kershaw County School District. “Being able to easily access all of these critical data makes us much better prepared in the time of an emergency.”

The school district received the $211,460 U.S. Department of Education grant in 2006 to improve district emergency preparedness and contracted with Prepared Response, Inc. (PRI) to install the company’s Rapid Responder® Crisis Management System to protect the 20 schools and district office facilities.

Rapid Responder runs on laptop computers and allows first responders to instantly access more than 300 pieces of data including tactical plans, floor plans, aerial and geospatial (GIS) imagery, interior and exterior photos, staging areas, hazardous materials quantities and locations, utility shut-offs, and evacuation routes for all schools.

District personnel, along with the Kershaw County Sheriffs Office, Kershaw County Fire, and Camden Police and Fire Departments were trained on the system in June.

According to Jordan, police and fire can respond quicker and in a more coordinated manner with instant access to key information. He said emergency personnel will benefit from enhanced situational awareness to protect both students and staff.

“We are very pleased with the high level of collaboration among the Kershaw County School District, local first responders, and other community partners to implement the Rapid Responder system,” said Jim Finnell, president and CEO of Prepared Response, Inc. “The district is to be commended for taking a very proactive approach to emergency preparedness that will help ensure the safety and well being of its students and staff.”

The Rapid Responder system is the only crisis management system to receive the coveted “Certification” SAFETY Act designation by the Department of Homeland Security. Rapid Responder is currently installed in more than 8,500 buildings nationwide, including 1,700 school campuses.

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