Teachers and staff at Pratt schools are training on CrisisGo and SafeDefend systems to provide a more responsive and higher level of security in all district buildings.
With a quick swipe, teachers, staff and administrators at USD 382 Pratt can now activate security warnings and alert 911 first-responders of emergencies anywhere on school property. Earlier this week special training sessions were held to familiarize them with the recently installed SafeDefend Active Shooter Response system.
"We all got a lot out of the training sessions," said David Schmidt, Assistant Superintendent for USD 382. "The more we have teachers interact with the system the better we all will be. There are some concerns and questions, but the testing this week was a great help."
Schmidt said the purchase and installation of the SafeDefend system, which features several swipe boards placed strategically around the district buildings, and the additional CrisisGo app, recently purchased by the district for phones and computers, was not in response to past problems at the school, but rather a step forward to be prepared for the future, if a need should ever arise.
"Our goal is to always protect our students as we educate them," Schmidt said. "I hope we never have to actually need this, but it is exactly the right time to roll things out to let our students and parents know we will protect them."
SafeDefend was created by Jeff Green, a father of three and a former elementary principal to address the issues of how law enforcement, staff and students respond in an active shooter crisis. The SafeDefend system uses multiple communication methods to communicate specific details of a crisis situation to local police and onsite staff. Police and staff are immediately notified of the specific location of the crisis in a detailed text or email, a 911 call is placed, and audible sirens and warning lights notify onsite staff and visitors that there is an emergency situation.
"In reviewing the more and more frequent after action reports for shooting incidents in schools during the last few years, it is apparent that the largest factor in reducing casualties during a violent attack at schools is an immediate lock-down combined with a quick response by law enforcement," said SafeDefend Director of Training Douglas Parisi. "SafeDefend provides this."
In addition to SafeDefend equipment and training, the Pratt school district purchased a CrisisGo app for all teacher and administrative phones and computers which allows them to immediately be in contact with each other, between buildings and classrooms, should an emergency situation ever arise.
"With CrisisGo we are already communicating with heightened awareness internally about situations," Schmidt said. "Anyone can implement a panic button which notifies administrators, secretaries, custodial staff, principals and teachers, about situations needing attention."
Implementation of the 2-layer system has already taken place and training continues for optimum use.
USD 382 has more than 1,100 students and 140 staff members. The cost for implementing the SafeDefend system was $27,000 for the district.