Fla. Counties Deploying Real-Time Emergency Communications Technology
June 20—In the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy, Osceola County schools, along with Florida State University (FSU), join a growing list of Florida school districts and universities implementing Mutualink’s real-time emergency interoperability solution. Leon County, home to FSU’s main campus, is also deploying the technology. This solution enables direct communication with first responders in the event of an emergency and securely shares video and other critical information instantaneously.
“The inability for first responders to effectively communicate with school personnel and other partner agencies during emergencies is cited as a major cause of costly delay and the impairment of swift action,” said Mark Hatten, founder, and CEO of Mutualink. “Our solution closes that critical gap and is one of the most important safety improvements schools across the nation can implement. In an emergency, time saved communicating and instantaneous information sharing with first responders can save lives.”
According to data from the Gun Violence Archive, 134 mass shooting incidents have occurred as of June 18, 2018. In 2017, 346 mass shootings happened in the US. Mutualink helps coordinate response to these types of incidents, which often requires coordination across jurisdictions and with private entities such as hospitals, malls, universities and utilities; and other public entities such as schools, state police, and mass transit.
As the state of Florida seeks to address school security this summer, Mutualink anticipates many more counties will soon be adopting the interoperability platform. According to Mark Hatten, dozens of districts throughout the state have already contacted Mutualink, and many more inquiries are expected. “Our solution has become the recognized standard of excellence in school safety, and many communities are recognizing Mutualink is an essential life safety capability that must be in our schools.”
The Florida network now includes:
- Leon County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO): Hardware and software will connect the LCSO with the State House, the Leon County Courthouse, the Capitol Police and the Tallahassee Police Department. Plans are in the works to bring the schools onto the network, as well. “The trends in public violence and the vastness of our county convince us that communication advances are necessary,” said Chief Steve Harrelson of Leon County Sheriff’s Office.
- Osceola County School District: 75 schools and Kissimmee Police Department will join the Osceola campus of Valencia College and St. Cloud Police Department on the network. The school will offer a smartphone panic button to teachers and staff. The panic button will automatically dial 9-1-1 and automatically connect with the school with law enforcement while notifying all other teachers and staff that an incident has been reported. “Technology and intelligence are the keys to quick resolution of emergency incidents,” said St. Cloud Police Chief Pete Gauntlett.
- Florida State University (FSU): The FSU Police Department will connect radio and video data between the main campus in Tallahassee, FSU Panama City, Sarasota campuses as well as international locations during emergencies. FSU will also benefit from the increased network throughout Leon County. “School shootings are an unfortunate reality. At FSU we count on prevention, preparedness, and integrated communications to keep our students, employees and visitors safe,” said FSU Police Chief David Perry.
For more information please visit www.mutualink.net.