It is an uncomfortable truth that emergencies can happen in schools. While parents and guardians hate to think of such a scenario, the one consolation is to know that the school administration is prepared in case of an emergency. Most educational institutions have special emergency procedures in place for a number of situations from natural disasters to inclement weather, illness, violence and more.
That said, while schools have procedures for dealing with emergencies, one of the ongoing challenges is the ability to communicate in a timely matter. Without the proper technology, getting the news out can be difficult. The absence of communication can be devastating to those waiting to hear if their loved ones are safe. Recently, there was a case where parents first learned about an emergency at their children’s school from watching the evening news.
Upshot is — if people are not notified immediately, a crisis can be exasperated.
When Every Second Counts
When every second counts, having the right technology to communicate and respond to emergencies is tantamount. Today, educational institutions can choose voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) systems that facilitates instant emergency communication. The notification can even communicate to personal mobile phones. This is enabled with specialized security notification software that pushes out alarm notifications via the phone screen.
Legacy PBX Systems
The issue is that many educational institutions today are still using their PBX phone systems which do not offer sophisticated alarm notification system precautions. While legacy PBX does have some notification abilities, often times communication is delayed when the system becomes busy.
Silent Communication During a Crisis:
Preventing panic is key to working through any crisis. It is easy to get people riled up but much harder to contain the levels of panic that will ensue. Picture a scenario where there is an intruder in a school; VoIP systems have the ability to send silent messaging, using the blinking red lights on a school landline. The phone rings once, the teacher looks over and sees the blinking red light. The teacher then knows there is a problem and quietly closes and locks the door, without alerting or alarming the students. The silent VoIP messaging prevents panic from ensuing.
VoIP can also be helpful in the reverse scenario: if a 911 call comes from a classroom, the system can automatically call the 911 dispatcher, as well as alert the principal and superintendent’s phones. Beyond the immediate benefits, given its proactive communication it can mitigate potential liability.
VoIP has many positive functions – and in addition of being helpful in crisis, it also works well in the day to day of running a school or any organization for that matter.
VoIP includes the following benefits:
- Advanced call routing – Make custom routing rules for when certain lines are busy, or based on the time of day.
- Unified messaging – All voice-mails are forwarded to your email, so you can retrieve and forward messages to and from anywhere.
- Mobility – As mobility is important for educators (especially when they are out in the yard watching over the children or even on a field trip), VOIP service can be mobile and be used in multiple locations without any disconnection in the service.
- Advanced recording – Record phone calls and conferences, then email them to individuals that could not attend.
- Online dashboard – With a traditional phone system, you can’t assess call activity until you receive your bill at the end of the month. With VoIP from DiamondIT, your business has a centralized online dashboard and regular reports, to better understand how employees and clients are communicating.
- Scalability –Easily add inbound and outbound lines and extensions as needed.
As part of our services, DiamondIT offers a Telecommunication Study – an audit of your business’ current telecommunication system to identify cost savings as well as recommend the best solution for your needs.
For more information on your telecommunication requirements, reach out to DiamondIT today to speak to one of our telecommunications experts