In a recent article published in the “Expert Commentary” section of securityinformed.com, titled, Importance of Establishing Security Standards for K12 Schools, Mark Williams explains some of the difficulties schools face in implementing and carrying out proper security procedures. In the article he says, “School administrators are experts in running schools and providing education. However, most are not security experts and do not understand the complexity of implementing a comprehensive physical security program across their districts. Still, they are often contacted repeatedly by organizations with multiple safety and security products.”
This is why we recommend five key steps in developing and integrating security programs and plans in the schools and other locations we work with.
Steps 1-4 of this list are generally not as much of an issue for schools. The main issue schools need to tie all of their other security investments together is clear communication among everyone involved. This becomes especially important when you think about the different types of emergency situations a school is liable to be facing.
In a fire, there will be entirely different emergency procedures than what one would do in a lock out, a shelter in place, or a lock out situation. Every kind of situation requires entirely different kinds of emergency protocols, but the thing that all of them need is clear and effective communication.
Since its implementation, DIR-S is used in real situations on a very regular basis. Just over a year ago, there was a Subway Restaurant next to an elementary school that had an armed intruder.
The local police used DIR-S to send out a “Lock Out” alert to the elementary school, and within seconds all of the teachers were notified, and the exterior doors were locked down. As far as goings on in the classroom, teachers were able to continue teaching while still receiving real time updates as to the situation and what they should do with their students, and the students were able to continue learning without any interruption.
When this alert went off, the district safety officer was boarding a cruise ship on his vacation, and he received the alert on his smart watch. He was able to communicate and keep up with the entire alert process from his cell phone. He and the principal were able to see the same map and communicate with local police all from their own locations while the school was in lock out mode.
Without this quick, clear, and effective line of communication provided by DIR-S, this situation would have been much more complicated to communicate to the different entities involved. It also would have taken much longer to get the school in lock out mode without possibly causing a panic. In real life emergency situations, time is everything.
As Mr. Williams says in his previously mentioned article, “It’s not just having the right protection equipment in the building; it’s also having a procedural layer in place to make sure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities in the event of a fire. The stress of the actual event can limit ones’ ability to think clearly. Practice makes perfect. Why would we approach school security any differently?”
This elementary school takes their school’s security seriously, and they drill often and effectively with DIR-S. They were well prepared for the situation, and everyone involved knew exactly what to do. They were able to handle the situation with clear end effective communication, and the situation was handled without harm to anyone or any kind of panic within the school.
To refer back to Mr. Williams’ article, schools can spend all they want on security hardware. That is all great, but it is imperative that they have well established and thoroughly drilled procedures for what to do in emergency situations. All of the amazing hardware will be next to useless if teachers, administrators, and responders do not have a clear and effective way to communicate with one another throughout the ordeal. This is where DIR-S comes in. DIR-S allows everyone involved to coordinate their efforts in the most effective way possible to handle any situation they might be facing.
Software companies like ours have a very large task at hand. It is not merely enough to keep up with what the rest of the industry is doing at the time. If that is all a tech company does, they will never stand a chance of leading or even standing out in their industry.
In Ryan W. Neal’s Investment News article, he explains what Scott Klososky calls “High Beam Thinking.” This phrase was penned by Scott Klososky. He works a lot with different tech companies, and he talks about what it takes to not just survive but thrive. “High Beam Thinking,” is all about using your current knowledge of the industry and predicting where it will be months and years down the road. He talks about how important it is to evaluate where current business practices and products will take your company in the near and distant future.
According to Mr. Klososky, this kind of thinking puts business people into the kind of mindset that helps them keep their company on the cutting edge of their industry, rather than having them always playing catch up with the rest of the industry.
Software development is a vast industry, and people enter it on a daily basis with high hopes of making their idea into a huge business success. Many of them legitimately have exciting ideas that can make a serious mark for them in the industry. The thing is though, if you are coming with an improvement on something that already exists, you will be fighting to make your product really stand out against what is already in place.
If you have an entirely new idea, if it is a success, competitors will be coming out of the woodwork to steal your market.
This sounds pretty bleak, doesn’t it?
While it is incredibly competitive, it is also very exciting and rewarding to take an idea and put it into production. This applies to basically every industry, from restaurants to construction, to software companies like ours. Competition is an integral part of doing business. There are a lot of different practices, and a nearly endless supply of books, pamphlets, TED talks, podcasts, etc. of people explaining how to “make it big.” While it takes a lot of different practices and a lot of work for companies to get from an idea to a money-making business, merely making an initial dollar is not good enough. Especially in the software world, stagnation leads to failure.
This is where this “High Beam Thinking” comes in so important. This means keeping your thinking on a level above and beyond where the rest of the industry is at. You are observing your competitors, interactive effectively with your clients, and continually updating and improving your products.
DIR-S has come a long way since its initial release.
We meet together with our software developing team regularly, and this week we have been with them even more than usual. We are taking advantage of this time in the summer while schools are on break to do exactly as Mr. Klososky recommends. No matter where we are or what decisions we are making in the company, where those decisions will take us is always at the forefront of the decision-making process.
This is also the kind of thinking that we try to pass on to our clients when we are either showing them the power of DIR-S or implementing it in their facility. While DIR-S can be an enormous help to any school or business, it is necessary to look into the future.
DIR-S is not just about setting up the program and forgetting about it. It is about looking to the future, keeping up with software updates, and anticipating future emergency situations.
For an example of how we are currently implementing this “high beam thinking,” we are in the process of implementing a mapping system in the DIR-S program, along with revamping the communication platform of the DIR-S program. We know that these new advancements we are introducing will open up worlds of opportunities for us, and for DIR-S. It is for this reason that we meet together with administration and with our software team regularly to get plenty of perspectives as to what we need to do to prepare us and the program for the future, and how to direct our efforts now to best prepare for what is to come.
We are incredibly proud of DIR-S, and we are constantly working to make it as amazing as it can possibly be. With every step we take in moving it further into the future, we make sure to look at where our new innovations will take us.
To get to where we are, we at Tresit Group have been the kind of thinkers that Mr. Klososky would call “high beam thinkers.” We have looked forward at every step of the process to predict where it will take us. This is a practice that we do every day, and we will always be doing it because that is how we are able to ensure that DIR-S is and will always be the best emergency communication security software available.
This week, two of our team members went to the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) break out sessions in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
It is a very large gathering where resource officers and school security companies from all over the United States gather to showcase their products, and to discuss the best practices in school safety.
NASRO is an organization that is the world leader in policing school security. They understand the importance of getting officers and security software companies, like ours, all together to find the best security solutions for the various things facing our schools.
Our team has been there with a booth set up. They have been showcasing the product for multiple days. During those days, they were able to have direct interaction with law enforcement officers and get feedback on DIR-S. Through countless flyers and demos, DIR-S is gaining traction around the nation. They have found that DIR-S sells itself because of the unique solution it provides. We are very excited about every step we get to take in spreading the word about our DIR-S.
It is growing and, and word is spreading very quickly. We were recently ranked in the top ten school security software companies in the world by Market Reporter.
We are very excited about the continual growth that we are seeing in the company, and we are incredibly grateful to everyone who has helped us along the journey getting to where we are today.
Our products are under constant review, and we test extensively every product and update before we release them. We do this to ensure that when you download DIR-S on your organization’s computers and personal devices, it will work flawlessly. With school security systems like ours, it is imperative that they work well every single time because when it comes to a real emergency situation, there can be no technical difficulties. This is part of why we encourage schools to test so regularly with the DIR-S program so that their staff will all be very familiar with their school’s emergency protocols, and with the program. Schools that do this are able to address all types of emergency situations much quicker and more effectively than other schools that either do not have DIR-S or do not drill regularly.
Our philosophy when it comes to facing problems or challenges is to face them with determination and integrity. This has served us very well; it has helped us to develop a company and product that we are incredibly proud of.
We have regular meetings updating each other on the things we are working on. This combined with consistent and open communication has helped us to develop a company culture of openness and teamwork, and in such, maximize our effectiveness as a company and team.
On the wall in our office, we have a quote by Steve Jobs that says, “Some mistakes will be made along the way. That’s good. Because some decisions are being made along the way. We’ll find the mistakes. We’ll fix them.”
In any business situation, when decisions are being made, they might not always be the correct thing to do. It is important to have the courage and the discipline to recognize your mistakes, and immediately take the actions necessary to remedy them. It is also very important to make sure that whatever mistakes are made, we learn from them, and see them all as growing opportunities.
Mistakes are always opportunities to either become discouraged with our setbacks or to learn from our mistakes and be better from them. It all has to do with your outlook. If you face what life brings you with a strong conviction that if you are honestly working hard and doing your best, then you will make the right decision every time. Some of those decisions might lead to more difficult situations, but all of them will contribute to our overall growth.
To do list
· Develop school safety plans/protocols
· Conflict resolution
· Detention and arrests
· Searches of persons and property
· In-school law-enforcement education
· General school safety requirements
· Regular meetings
· Student rehabilitation help
· Crime investigation
· Crime prevention
· General law enforcement
That seems like quite the list of things to do doesn’t it? Welcome to the life of school resource officers (SRO).
Roughly 52% of schools in the United States have some form or another of school security presence. About 42% of US schools have an official school resource officer. Even at that, it is very rare to have more than one officer at the school full time. In more rural locations, it is common for one SRO to service the elementary school, middle school, and high school.
This is an enormous amount of responsibility placed on a relatively small number of officers. Thankfully, they do their jobs diligently, and often are able to make strong connections with troubled students, helping them stay out of spiraling cycles.
In schools that do not have an on-hand officer, the national average response time for police officers is ten minutes for emergency situations, and twenty minutes for non-emergency situations.
As is proven over and over, a lot can happen in just a matter of a few minutes.
The ability to respond directly, and efficiently, in any kind of emergency situation is imperative for any officer.
Not all emergencies will require the same kind of response actions. If there is a stranger wandering the halls of the school, and all that needs to happen is for the officer to know where they are and teachers to lock their rooms and continue teaching, this will be handled very differently than if there is a fight at lunch, or a fire because of a chemistry experiment gone wrong.
No matter the situation, the quicker school SROs are able to address the issue, the quicker it can be resolved, with less chance of the problem getting worse.
DIR-S was built with the absolute intention of allowing officers and faculty to communicate quickly and efficiently. To not only stop things that may be happening before they get worse, but also to get ahead of potential problems.
With the DIR-S program’s quick communication capabilities, officers and staff can be aware of any kind of situation in seconds. They can then take the necessary steps to resolve the issue, all while communicating throughout the duration of the situation to keep everyone supplied with what is happening. This way, if upon inspection, an already known situation escalates, faculty knows what is happening, and the SRO can tell them either to follow the emergency protocols already in place or to follow some other directions they might deem more pertinent given the situation.
One of the main frustrations that many school officers have is the fact that many schools either do not do as many drills as they are supposed to or they do not take them seriously because they do not feel like they are an effective use of their time.
When you examine how most drills in schools have gone in the past using traditional drill procedures, it is not hard to understand why teachers might feel that way.
Like any security system or protocol, practice and drilling is so important to ensure that everyone- students, faculty, and officers alike, know just what to do when faced with a real emergency situation.
Any time we meet with current customers or set up new locations with DIR-S, we stress the importance of drilling with the program to make sure that everyone is used to the program. Schools that take this to heart always have drastically quicker reaction times to emergency situations, and have much better opinions of the program.
We meet regularly with police stations and officers to talk about and get feedback for the DIR-S program. We understand the important job that it is playing in schools, and the need for everything that we do on our end with the program to be perfect.
The DIR-S program has proven itself to police officers time and time again. It takes an enormous amount of stress from their shoulders. They already have a huge load of responsibilities, and DIR-S is here to help relieve at least a portion of their load.
If there is a student unaccounted for, the necessary people can be alerted immediately, and can remain in discrete, but clear communication until they are found. If an evacuation alert is sent out, and the evacuation plan that certain classrooms might usually follow would lead them into more danger, through the DIR-S system, officers can quickly and discreetly notify them, and instruct them as to what course of action they should take that will keep them away from danger without causing added alarm to their students.
Let DIR-S cut that to do list down so your school resource officer can get down to focusing on the students and developing a relationship with the people they work with.
Tresit Group started as a consulting business where Cole Smith, and his co-founders sought merely to help schools develop and implement a more effective emergency protocols. They then developed the DIR-S (duress) software, which is constantly being updated and improved. For instance, we recently made the change from our in-house mapping system to a Google Maps integration. This will open up a huge amount of possibilities for the program being used in a wide variety of locations. Up until now DIR-S has mainly been used in schools and district facilities, but people need to be kept safe everywhere they go. The goal of Tresit Group evolved into offering effective safety software that can easily adapt to meet the needs of any facility that desires to improve its security.
As the DIR-S program becomes more and more adaptable for use in a wider range of places, we want to help people see different ways that they can get the program set up for their organization.
DIR-S software drastically decreases response time which increases reaction time, what normally takes a school 30 minutes with traditional emergency procedures is cut down to a matter of seconds. If an active shooter is on school property, the building is effectively locked down and the students are secured literally in seconds. Knowing this, it is immediately obvious that DIR-S is a good thing for any school. So what might hold them back from implementing Tresit Group’s safety software? The main problem with implementing any kind of program is having sufficient funds for financing a quality security system.
Hope does not need to be lost if the usual routes you might take to get funding do not have the necessary resources to make it happen. The primary goal of Tresit Group is to provide quality security programs for every school and organization who desires it.
When thinking of expenses we might run into on a daily basis, the price of the DIR-S system is affordable. Our approach is to make sure we can offer a great solution at a reasonable price, it becomes more than manageable, even in very small schools.
One Northern Utah school knew that they wanted the program, but simply did not have the resources necessary in their budget. This school reached out to local businesses in the community to explain what the program was, and how much they needed to implement it, and in short order, they had plenty of funds donated to get the program for the school.
If we consider what places other than schools might be able to do, there are plenty of options.
During the summer time, most counties in Utah have county fairs, and other celebrations. Usually local businesses have the chance to set up a booth or a food trailer to sell food or other goods.
Community fundraisers in newspapers are another viable option.
Businesses could also appeal to their employees to find a company-wide agreement as to how they might raise sufficient funds.
Breaking up the cost helps enormously and it isn’t surprising how willing people are to donate funds for improving security in a community. Safety is a high priority that many believe you can’t put a price tag on.
The Tresit Group goal is to modernize general security protocols and procedures. We have worked hard to develop a good system that can be adapted to a wide range of facilities. It is important to us that our product is priced competitively so that our users can afford it, and we can continue improving our software.
It is very exciting for us to help people and organizations to bring their security procedures into the 21st century. It is important for today’s schools and workplaces to have all of the necessary programs and systems to keep their employees and students safe.
Tresit Group, dedicated to quality and reliability, because when it comes to safety, only the best is good enough.
We are constantly working on developing new systems and updates to best serve our customers who trust our services with their information. We feel the great responsibility of the amount of trust that is placed on us, and we work hard every single day to make our clients glad that they use our services when it matters most.
We can all think back on our school days and remember fire drills, earthquake drills, and increasingly more as time and situations continue, and knowing that more often than not, that meant classes were interrupted for at least the rest of that class period. With the DIR-S system, schools are able to drill for any kind of emergency in a fraction of the time that it would have taken with the traditional methods. Their drills are much more effective, because DIR-S allows you to drill scenarios and procedures that are much more like what they might be expected to do in the event of an actual school emergency. All schools have evacuation plans for each classroom, but what if following the evacuation plan might actually put certain classrooms at risk because it takes them toward the threat without them even knowing. With DIR-S, teachers are able to communicate and get real time updates on the situation, and what areas might be the most dangerous. This allows them to adapt their evacuation plan, increasing the safety of the students who are under their care. This takes evacuation plans from being a just a laminated paper up on the wall, to a modern and effective system bringing the best results in any kind of situation.
Teachers in schools with DIR-S have much more reason to take the drill seriously because they are experiencing more of what they will be expected to do in an emergency situation. They already have a large amount of material that they are expected to teach to their students, and long, drawn out drills can be very tiresome to them, especially if they do not feel that the drills are effectively preparing them and their students for a real emergency situation. Schools are legally required to drill for emergencies multiple times a year. With DIR-S they can do so in a way that doesn’t waste time, and better prepares both the school faculty and students.
Not all emergency situations that might arise in a school are as drastic as something like a fire, earthquake, or even a shooter. Since the DIR-S system has been implemented in hundreds of schools, the program is used in live incidents weekly. Having a system in place that can effectively prepare both teachers and students for all types of emergencies is invaluable for when it is time for them to use what they have learned during drills in a real situation.
Tresit Group is in a rapid state of growth, and our dedicated team are working tirelessly to both meet the needs that come with the growth and to capitalize on our growth and use it to branch out into new areas. We are now bringing our services into more commercial areas. There is a large facility in Layton, Utah that will soon be outfitted with DIR-S software, and a Northern Utah city government building that will also be outfitted with our program within the coming weeks. As we adapt our software to ever increasing numbers and types of locations, we are seeing just how versatile it can be and how many different places can benefit from it.
Mankind has been innovating and adapting for longer than recorded history can even document. Tresit Group is on the forefront of finding and developing ways to meet the needs of modern schools. Not only is Tresit Group’s team comprised of security, business and IT experts, but most of them are also parents, and every parent wants to know that their children are safe in school. Tresit Group works to keep not only our own kids safe in school, but everyone else’s too.
Nobody could have predicted the huge success of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in how they have reshaped the world. In fact, it’s an understatement to say the internet and modern technology has changed the way we communicate—and quite drastically, too. News conferences have become a thing of the past, especially when it comes to emergency and disaster management. “For us from crisis communication and an emergency alert standpoint, it’s been the biggest game changer since the telephone, even more so than the Internet,” South Carolina Emergency Management Division spokesman Derrec Becker told Government Technology.
Using social media as a platform to spread awareness during emergencies and calamities has become the new norm. This means that emergency management officials no longer need to wait for traditional media to report news, as information can be posted on Twitter and Facebook. And social media is fast becoming the primary source of news for many people. In a post by Maryville University on their communications degree, they report that in 2016 there was already a 63% increase in global media traffic. This shows how rapidly the world is adopting mobile technology, which will only increase social media use, and change how people receive information.
The combination of artificial intelligence and social media has effectively enabled rapid disaster response. The well-rounded support of both these technologies has allowed emergency management officials not only to develop situational awareness, but to bridge the gap between communication and infrastructure failures, too. Medium notes that even relief efforts to those most prone, benefit from social media, as they are more likely to be alerted about natural disasters that are happening without a warning.
The emergence of social media in disaster management helped communities make sure that they have an effective communication plan during emergencies. On Tresit Group we talked about the importance of having more than one way to communicate, as this gives people more chances of dealing with a crisis or emergency effectively.
There’s no better example of this than the Facebook Safety Check, which has proven itself quite useful in times of emergencies. It was first launched in 2016 and was immediately tested that same year when a 29-year-old security guard killed more than 40 people and injured more than 50 in a mass shooting in a nightclub in Orlando. Worried family members and friends of people in the area clung to Facebook’s Safety Check to make sure the people they love were safe. David Moran who was a regular at the club explained that at first he could only vaguely recall what Safety Check was, but as more and more people marked themselves safe, he kept returning to the page. In the same article, Wired spoke with humanitarian crises and technology expert Patrick Meier. Meier said Safety Check serves a great purpose: to give people answers about the specific individuals they care about—and at a scale and speed that was never possible before.
Facebook’s crisis hub said they promise to make Safety Check bigger. The company aims to turn it into a “crisis hub” or a live and centralized repository of information about any given disaster. Friends and family will not only be able to check on their loved ones, but they will also be able to follow news and chatter, monitor live videos via Facebook Live from the scene, and even coordinate ways of responding. As the community learns to grow and as technology continues to evolve, disaster response will grow and evolve with it.
Article specially written for TresitGroup.Com
By: Evelyn Niamh
Remember Benjamin Franklin's famous words during this festive season,
“an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." This is as true today as it was when Franklin said it. Although many use the quote when referring to health, Franklin actually was addressing safety. We like safety A LOT, so thank you Benjamin Franklin for your wise words.
an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Enjoy your holiday season. Make memories. Be safe.
For the full story of Benjamin Franklin's famous axiom click here:
Very seldom do we ask what we can do as PARENTS to make a DIFFERENCE, often we put the task of school safety on administrators and educators. In all likelihood involved parents may have a greater impact on student safety and threat prevention than any other group.
Child Trends, a non-profit organization, has done some remarkable research showing the need for parent involvement at schools. Here is a short excerpt from one of their studies:
Students with parents who are involved in their school tend to have fewer behavioral problems and better academic performance, and are more likely to complete high school than students whose parents are not involved in their school.
Positive effects of parental involvement have been demonstrated at both the elementary and secondary levels across several studies, with the largest effects often occurring at the elementary level.
A recent meta-analysis showed that parental involvement in school life was more strongly associated with high academic performance for middle schoolers than helping with homework.
Involvement allows parents to monitor school and classroom activities, and to coordinate their efforts with teachers to encourage acceptable classroom behavior and ensure that the child completes schoolwork.
Teachers of students with highly involved parents tend to give greater attention to those students, and they are more likely to identify at earlier stages problems that might inhibit student learning.
Parental involvement in school, and positive parent-teacher interactions, have also been found to positively affect teachers’ self-perception and job satisfaction.
Research shows that students perform better in school if their fathers as well as their mothers are involved, regardless of whether the father lives with the student or not.
A teacher asked, "If there is an active threat, how should I alert the school?” The response, “every possible means.”
An effective communication plan is the most overlooked part of an emergency plan. The best communications plan is layered with redundancy. Each individual needs the ability to communicate to the outside and also have the ability to receive communications from the outside. In the military they use what is called a P.A.C.E. plan (Primary, Alternate, Contingency, Emergency). The principle is to have multiple methods to communicate in case one method is not available or fails. Additionally, communication needs to touch those that can listen and make a difference with the information they receive and respond effectively.
In the majority of situations there is no thought put into a communications plan. In every situation, every incident and emergency, having effective communications makes all the difference. Too much time, money and energy is wasted on things that have limited impact on emergencies, or impact very specific situations. Creating a communications plan will empower each individual in any given situation and ultimately have the greatest impact on saving lives.
In an organization you have an employee, other employees, administration, and first responders that need to be tied into the communications plan. Most important is assessing how each individual can get a message out regardless of where they are located in the facility. Secondly, how a message can be sent to each individual from a central location regardless of their location. Next, how does the message reach first responders in real time. Lastly, how to maintain ongoing communications throughout the incident until the situation is resolved. In some cases multiples means of communications are used to address each of these. There are some technologies that exist, which provide ability to do all the above, but be cautious to not create a single point of failure. A school recently spent a lot of money on a communication system that provided the means to communicate with all there people in a variety of ways. The system was great, however only a single person in a single location could send a message. This creates a single point of failure and creates a critical situation when that person does not have all the right information. This is similar to systems in hospitals across the nation. They are dependent on one person to share the right information at the right time, to everyone.
While conducting training at a local school, the question was asked, “if there is an active threat how should I alert the school?” The response, “every possible means.” However if there was an isolated medical incident, a call to 911 may be sufficient. Many organizations conduct drills on a regular basis, but do not practice communicating during those drills. Employees follow pre-determined plans, which does not truly train and enhance preparedness. It would be more effective to setup scenarios where different methods of communications were required to be used to navigate through a specific emergency.
Bottom line. A redundant plan that connects all the right people initially, during and after an incident happens.
Article written by:
CEO Tresit Group
Former Military Officer
Special thanks to the Ch. 4 News team! Here is some great coverage and an amazing article written by Andrew Reeser.
COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah (News4Utah) - With the push of a button, Canyon View Elementary school principal Kierstin Draper alerted every teacher and student in the building they needed to lock the doors, turn off the lights and get out of sight.
The message was sent and received in two seconds. The school was locked down and deemed secure in two and a half minutes.
It was a drill, but in a real-life situation, lives could have been spared.
The security application DIR-S (pronounced "duress") acts as a virtual panic button and allows teachers and administrators to alert the entire school in the event of an emergency. Example: a suspicious person enters the building; a student comes to school armed; a domestic dispute spills over into a school classroom. With the app, which costs about $3,100 per school that uses it, the adult who notices suspicious activity can press a button to alert teachers that it's time to lock down their classrooms. Teachers turn off the lights, lock the doors and get students out of sight.
Tresit Group is the Utah company that developed the application, which is now being used in school districts around Utah, Idaho and other states.
"The teacher's job is just to select their location, and [indicate] if they are safe or unsafe," says Tresit marketing director Preston Keller. "If they're safe the room goes green...and if they're unsafe the room goes red." (Teachers press a red or green button on their smartphone or computer to indicate whether or not the classroom is safe).
The alert also goes to local law enforcement. Some police departments around the state have started using DIR-S to better communicate with teachers during emergencies. An instant-messaging feature allows teachers to type messages to each other during an incident, indicating if anyone in their classroom is missing. Missing persons can also be reported on the application.
Canyons School District performs regular drills using DIR-S. It can also be used for fire and earthquake drills. Draper goes around the school and makes sure all classroom doors are locked. A dangerous job in an real-life event, but keeping children safe is paramount. "Seconds count," said Draper. "There's also the ability on the app for teachers to indicate whether they need medical help."
The Canyons School District Board made obtaining this app for local schools a priority project this year. It costs money, but as technology grows, so does the ability for those who would want to do harm to circumvent it. Draper said DIR-S helps schools stay ahead of the curve.
"Knowing that we have to do this to prepare our students, it's definitely a two-sided coin," Draper said. "You wish you didn't have to live in world where you have to prepare for this type of emergency, but...it's a top priority."
DIR-S can also be used on an individual level, but the company's current focus is on schools and corporate environments
Thank you to Channel 4 news for the great story! All credit and content are provided by Channel 4 News.
There are over 100,000 private and public institutions educating children from grades K-12. Each school is mandated by federal law to drill monthly in preparation for incidents that may occur at a school. On average drills last 30 minutes when conducted. This means each month schools across the United States spend 50,000 hours conducting some sort of drill. On average there are 32 teachers per school and make an average of $30 an hour. This equates to $48M spent every month to conduct drills or $480M spent every year. Additionally, schools report at least one significant emergency every year. This can take an average of 2 hours to resolve, another $192M spent. What if we could cut this number in half and use those dollars for enhanced learning for students?
This is why Tresit Group built the Disaster Incident Report and Security (DIR-S) System. Our goal was to give schools back their time to what they do best, learn. Using DIR-S reduces drill times and in live incidents gets schools back to normal operations faster than any other system in the world. Simply put, we connect schools with those that respond during any type of incident and on any device. Real-time chat and interactive maps gives everyone enhanced situational awareness for the best decision making.
During the last two school years DIR-S has been used over 5,000 times for drills and incidents in schools throughout the United States. Data indicates when a school adopts DIR-S, drill times are reduced to more than half and in many cases can be done in a few minutes. Day to day incidents that are occurring is resolved in a tenth of the time. These results more than fund the use of DIR-S and give more time for focus on learning. In the last school year 2017-18 DIR-S was being used weekly for a variety of emergencies that in all likelihood saved lives.
The results speak for themselves...after an Elementary school decided to use DIR-S, an emergency management app during a lockdown drill.
DIR-S Lockdown Drill initiated.
Teachers, Administration and Police Instantly Notified.
All Users marked safe, All Green Rooms
Hall checks and Doors Locked
1:06 Minutes 🔐
3:01 Minutes 🏁
DIR-S not only empowers teachers but saves precious seconds. Active drills create familiarity and muscle memory. So when an incident occurs users can calmly respond using the simple interface of DIR-S.
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Robbery - Elementary School (Lock Out)
In the afternoon in Northern Utah, a Subway reported an armed intruder at their restaurant to the police. This Subway was located in close proximity to an elementary. The police immediately used DIR-S to reverse alert the school and put them into “Lockout."
Within a few seconds this alert went to all teachers and specified district personnel associated with the Elementary. The exterior doors were secured and teachers continued teaching in their classrooms. The District Safety Officer was on vacation and received the alert through his smart watch and called the school immediately to check their status.
Throughout the incident, clear and concise information was shared by the Police. The Principal could see a room by room status of her school to ensure everyone knew what was going on. Students were unaware of the incident and continued on with their day without interruption
The alert was lifted when the situation was resolved within the hour and the day continued on.
After Action Review: DIR-S provided immediate awareness to a situation that could have potentially impacted the school or people coming to and from the school close to the Subway. Correct information allowed for the school community to avoid the situation and be prepared in case something escalated.
Mom..Dad, what should I do if someone at school starts shooting? How would you answer?
Unfortunately, this question may be asked and you will need to rise to the occasion and have an answer. The day has passed that you can brush it off and respond, “not to worry.” We are living in it now.
We suggest the following basic responses to your children by helping them understand three encompassing scenarios:
Scenario 1 – See but CANNOT Hear
If you can see a weapon but CANNOT hear anything (it is not being used), do
Leave the area immediately and get somewhere where big, heavy stuff (cover) is between you and the person with the weapon.
Your kids need to know if there is something that can potentially harm them, they need to get somewhere safe. This step creates distance and cover between them and a potential threat.
Report it immediately to a teacher or responsible adult.As soon as possible, while leaving the area, kids need to know the importance of reporting to the first adult they see.
Get as safe as possible. Continually get as far away from the danger as possible and keep as much big, heavy stuff between you and the person with the weapon. Being truly safe is a continual process.
As things change, so does the level of safety. Teaching this correctly allows for kids to have the mindset of always getting to a safer and more secure position, keeping a few steps ahead of potential danger at all times.
If you can’t leave, stay quiet and hide. If you are not able to go anywhere or do so safely, secure and barricade your location as much as possible.
Scenario 2 - See AND Hear
If you can see someone with a weapon AND hear them using it, do the following:
Protect yourself by getting behind something big and heavy (cover). If nothing is available, get behind something that can hide you from view (concealment).
The primary objective is to get safe by finding the nearest cover and/or concealment.
Leave the area as soon as safely possible. Use big, heavy stuff to protect your movement or other items to hide your movement.
In this situation, there is most likely less of a need to report the danger, since it may be very clear to everyone the danger is present. The goal here is to instill a mindset of getting as from danger as possible. It does not do any good to sit and become a victim. However, if a child is hiding and is clearly not going to be discovered, this may be the best place to stay.
Get as safe as possible. Continue to get as far away as possible from the danger and keep as much big, heavy stuff between you and the person with the weapon.
Being truly safe is a continual process. As things change, so does the level of safety. Teaching this correctly allows for kids to have the mindset of always getting to a safer and more secure position, keeping a few steps ahead of potential danger at all times.
If you can’t leave, stay quiet and hide. If you are not able to go anywhere or
do so safely, secure and barricade your location as much as possible.
Scenario 3 – Hear but CANNOT See
If you can hear someone using a weapon but CANNOT see them, do the following:
Protect yourself by getting behind something big and heavy in the opposite direction of the sound. If nothing is available, get behind something that can hide you from view.
For this third scenario, a kid’s first step is always to get safe. This situation is slightly different, since we do not know exactly where the danger is coming from yet.
Look around and listen to identify where the shooting/danger could possibly be coming from. There is a definite need to identify the direction of danger.
Move in the opposite direction of the shooter/danger if able to identify the location, and it is safe to do so. Again, get as far away as possible and keep as much big, heavy stuff between you and the shooter/danger.
Like the above scenarios, distance and cover is always best if you are able to do so safely.
If you can’t leave, stay quiet and hide. If you are not able to go anywhere or do so safely, secure and barricade your location as much as possible.
For each scenario the best option is to always do your best to get safe and stay safe.
We suggest parents role-play each scenario with their children. Talk through potential dangerous objects that would be of concern, show them how they can hide and conceal themselves, and identify different objects that are big and heavy and explain how they can be used for protection. Also, explain how to hide and be quiet until someone they trust gives them direction to come out. It is important for kids to be willing to follow directions from teachers or those responsible for their care.
The value of going through each scenario is that it gives a child an “if this,” then “do this” plan. Caretakers are potentially not trained, not able to manage the situation, or not present. Therefore, as a parent, be proactive by teaching and reinforcing solid principles that can be used time and time again to keep your children safe.
We strive for simplicity. We have spent countless hours testing and developing, and testing and testing and more testing to create the simplest user interface for school security.
"...Recognize that under stress you’re not going to be at your best, and you should put systems in place."
- Dan Levitan
In this post you can read an interesting article below to see how the brain reacts under stress, this will help you understand why we go to great lengths to give our end-users (teachers and first responders) the easiest and simplest way to communicate in an emergency.
As you can see in the image, in three simple steps you can send out a custom alert to teachers, administration and law enforcement. In a matter of seconds, DIR-S relays the locations of users, critical information about the alert and access to electronic emergency plans. Simplicity plays a key role in our company - Get safe. Stay safe.
At a TED talk in September, neuroscientist Daniel Levitin told a story of how a few years ago he broke into his own house.
After having driven home around midnight in winter, Levitin found that he didn’t have his keys.
“In fact, I could see them through the window, lying on the dining room table where I had left them,” he said. “I ran around and tried all the other doors and windows, but they were locked tight. I couldn’t go back to my friend’s house for the night because I had an early flight to Europe the next morning, and I needed to get my passport and my suitcase.
“I found a large rock and broke through the basement window. I figured that in the morning, on the way to the airport, I could call my contractor and ask him to fix it. Now, I know a little bit about how the brain performs under stress. It releases cortisol that raises your heart rate, it modulates adrenaline levels and it clouds your thinking. So the next morning, when I woke up on too little sleep, worrying about the hole in the window, a mental note that I had to call my contractor, the freezing temperatures, and the meetings I had upcoming in Europe, my thinking was cloudy.”
Needless to say it wasn’t until he got to the airport that he realised he didn’t have his passport. So he raced home in the snow, got his passport, raced back to the airport, and made it just in time – due to his late arrival however, his pre-booked seat had already been given away to someone else.
“Well, I had a lot of time to think during those eight hours and no sleep,” he said. “And I started wondering whether there were things I could do that would prevent bad things from happening. Or at least if bad things happen, will minimise the likelihood of it being a total catastrophe. But my thoughts didn’t crystallise until about a month later. I was having dinner with my colleague, Nobel Prize winner Danny Kahneman, and I told him about having broken my window. Kahneman shared with me that he’d been practicing something called prospective hindsight.
“It’s something that he had gotten from the psychologist Gary Klein, who had written about it a few years before, called the pre-mortem. Now, you all know what the postmortem is. Whenever there’s a disaster, a team of experts come in and they try to figure out what went wrong. Well, in the pre-mortem, Kahneman claimed you look ahead and you try to figure out all the things that could go wrong, and then you try to figure out what you can do to minimise the damage.
“There are some things we can do in the form of a pre-mortem. Some of them are obvious, so i’ll talk about the not so obvious ones. Remember, when you’re under stress, the brain releases cortisol. Cortisol is toxic, and it causes cloudy thinking. Part of the practice of the pre-mortem is to recognise that under stress you’re not going to be at your best, and you should put systems in place...
To read the entire article click here:
During the time she was held hostage, Emily sent her parents these text messages:
"I love you guys" and "I love u guys. k?"
On September 27th, 2006 a gunman entered Platte Canyon High School, held seven girls hostage and ultimately shot and killed Emily Keyes.
Emily's kindness, spirit, fierce joy, and the dignity and grace shown by the Keyes family following this tragic event define the core of The "I Love U Guys" Foundation.
The "I Love U Guys" Foundation was created to restore and protect the joy of youth through educational programs and positive actions in collaboration with families, schools, communities, organizations and government entities.
KIDS AND SCHOOLS
After extensive research, The "I Love U Guys" Foundation developed the Standard Response Protocol (SRP), a classroom response to any critical incident.
In 2012 the Foundation introduced the Standard Reunification Method (SRM), a practice that helps schools reunite students and parents with greater accountability and less uncertainty.
How it Works
Any school, district, department, agency or organization can use the materials FREE of charge. All we ask is that the Foundation is notified - firstname.lastname@example.org
What Are Incident Report Systems?
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Principal Johnson is finishing her coffee, catching up on some emails when she gets a call from Mrs. Parker, the chemistry teacher on the other side of campus. One of her students had an accident during a lab and started a fire that is getting out of control. Both the student and his lab partner also sustained serious injuries that require immediate attention. While Mrs. Parker triggers the fire alarm and helps everyone evacuate the building, Principal Johnson calls 911 and waits out front for the emergency responders to arrive.
Firemen arrive, head straight toward the smoke, and begin putting out the fire. Principal Johnson receives the emergency medical technicians (EMTs) at the front of the school and rushes with them to the injured students' presumed location. Only one of the injured students is found with Mrs. Parker. The other student went to seek the help of Mr. Edwards who, back in his day, was an always-prepared boy scout and happened to have a first aid kit handy. After a few more minutes of searching, the EMTs finally located the other injured student and rushed the two of them to the hospital.
Throughout the incident, there was no communication between responders, teachers, and the afflicted. The whole time, Principal Johnson worried about the safety of her students and teachers, counting on everyone to remember the fire drill procedures and just hoping that nothing else would go wrong during the evacuation. Mrs. Parker would have loved to know exactly how far away the EMTs were; she had to choose between staying in a conspicuous spot with the one injured student, and leaving to search for the other injured student. It would've been pretty neat if Mr. Edwards was able inform Principal Johnson, the EMTs, and Mrs. Parker of his exact location and his possession of the other injured student. Had there been a more unified communication protocol in place, first responders and teachers would've been able to cut the response time to a fraction of what it was...
Constructing great minds since 1910, Cache County School District is located in a valley that spans over 50 miles. The district serves over 25 schools in over 20 different communities, from Lewiston all the way down past Avon, Utah. First responders overseeing these communities have divided the area, for example, into four different police jurisdictions that are responsible for their safety. With first responders having to cover so much ground to ensure the safety of its nearly 15,900 students and 615 teachers district-wide, every second is crucial in the event of an emergency.
Cache County School District has been seeking a modern, unified approach to emergency protocol for its employees and first responders. Tresit Group's DIR-S ("duress") software met this need and then some. It provided the district with a unified response system that allows everyone involved to effectively communicate, stay fully updated and aware of the situation, and locate those needing assistance in a fraction of the time. With DIR-S, nobody gets left out of the loop.
Three of the district's schools are currently using DIR-S and loving it. Teachers and administrators are excited about it. Emergency responders are thrilled. And we're getting a lot of additional positive feedback!
"This will be the greatest addition to the district." - District Admin.
"I feel safer already." - Cache County Teacher
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A lockout drill can take an average of 15-20 minutes to complete. The process is simple: make an announcement over the PA system, teachers and staff follow the district's standard response protocol (lock exterior doors, etc.) and check-in one by one accordingly. This simple but vital drill should be carefully planned and executed in the best manner, and should not be rushed. The DIR-S app is an invaluable addition to this process. It allows teachers and staff to simultaneously check-in with their status and current location, reducing the average drill time to less than 2 minutes! Also, teachers can instantly report any problems or concerns in the app with no delay.
School drills are fundamental and preparation is key to prevention. The DIR-S app is one solution to better assist and manage these drills. By keeping everybody in the loop with real-time communication, DIR-S can save time in a drill and in an emergency-when seconds matter most.