LOKDOWN Founder Chad Doss recently held trainings on each of the NTC Campuses to help faculty and staff download the app, set up a profile under the district’s account, and learn how to navigate the app.
In today’s world, school-age students don’t only practice drills for fire or tornados. School districts are also required to prepare for intruders or other emergency events, such as school shootings or bomb threats. Northeast Technology Center has taken a big step to improve its processes in such events with the help of LOKDOWN. LOKDOWN is a cloud-based communication tool used by building staff, administrators and emergency responders to communicate during an emergency.
“The Mayes County Sherriff’s Department was involved in a situation last year that, thankfully, ended peacefully, but put our Pryor Campus on lock down for several hours,” said Tara Thompson, NTC Director of Communication. “We learned a lot of lessons from that experience, and one of those was that we needed to communicate better with our staff during these types of situations.”
The emergency communication application arms staff on the front lines with a simple and easy to use way to communicate in real time during an event using their phones or computers. Because the entire system is cloud based, it is accessible from anywhere broadband or cellular connections are available. This also makes LOKDOWN available should power or wired connectivity be lost. And because it is web-based, an instructor who may not have their phone on them in an emergency can borrow a student’s phone to log in as well, so that no one is ever left without a link to help when needed.
In the event of a student with a weapon, an intruder, evacuation for fire, gas leak or a bomb threat, or other major crisis, with the touch of a button any staff member can initiate a lock down or evacuation for their building and immediately send notifications to all staff in or related to that facility, as well as administrators and the local law enforcement agency who serves that facility.
“The app will even alert bus drivers who may be in route to one of our campuses so they know to stop and stay where they are in the event of an intruder on campus,” said Superintendent Fred Probis.
By responding to the notification, staff can quickly let administrators and emergency responders know they are accounted for and safe. It allows staff to enter their location, the number of students they have with them, if they have any special guests in their classrooms and if there are any injuries. When seconds count, administrators can log into a dashboard from any device to immediately be aware of the current status of every staff member and student during an emergency event.
“During a crisis, LOKDOWN provides a way to account for everyone in your organization, including their location, in under three minutes,” said Chad Doss, LOKDOWN Founder.
In addition to using the app for lockdowns and evacuations, there are also medical and special alert options that notify only building administrators and a specified crisis team. For example, if a student is having a seizure, the teacher can with the touch of one button, call a building administrator, the nurse on campus, and an ambulance while being able to quickly attend to the student in need.
“Basically, it allows for two-way communication and alerts local law enforcement in the event of a lock down, evacuation or medical emergency,” said Thompson. “Hopefully we’ll never have one of these types of incidents, but you can never be too safe.”
LOKDOWN does not replace any other protocol previously being used in emergency situations. But due to its simple and secure format, it definitely offers a way to improve that protocol.
“LOKDOWN is not intended to change our emergency response procedures – it’s a communications tool intended to enhance them,” said Thompson. “When it comes to saving a life, staff members should use whatever tool will generate the quickest results. There are scenarios in which LOKDOWN may be faster than 911, for example, in a noisy shop where the dispatcher can’t hear the speaker on the phone, so discretion and situational awareness will still be required.”
“The implementation of this app was intended to drastically shorten the time it takes to notify everyone of an impending danger or threat – to make our campuses safer,” said Superintendent Fred Probis. “I have already installed it on my phone and am impressed with how simple to use, yet thorough, it is. “
Doss recently visited each of the NTC campuses to help staff install the app, sign up under the district’s account and learn how to use the program. The cost to the NTC district for this technology is $100 per month. That amount includes all six NTC locations across the entire district. For more information about LOKDOWN, visit www.lokdown.org or call (417) 893-0023.
About Northeast Technology Center
Northeast Technology Center’s campuses are located in Afton, Kansas, Pryor and Claremore. Through its full-time daytime classes, short-term evening classes, and its business and industry services and training, NTC serves well over 34,000 patrons per year. For more information on any of the classes or training programs available, visit NTC’s website at www.netech.edu or call (918) 825-7040.