What do you do when faced with an emergency situation to spread the word immediately without causing a panic? DIR-S is used almost every day in different situations our clients find themselves in.
When schools and organizations using DIR-S are all familiar with the application and have taken the time to become proficient with it, reaction times are cut down to mere minutes. As can be seen in the case study below, this school was able to react to the threat posed to them in a matter of minutes, when managing this same type of situation might have taken well over an hour to manage.
(Names and Locations Changed for Privacy)
LOCKOUT alert initiated at 8:32 a.m. by Responder Chris Trager.
8:33 a.m. (District Administrator): This is not a drill; I will keep you all informed here on DIR-S as I can.
8:35 a.m. (Responder): Report of person in the student parking lot waving a weapon out the window. Vehicle located unoccupied in the North student parking lot with an air soft gun inside. School remain in lockout while we investigate.
8:45 a.m. Alert ESCALATED to LOCKDOWN by Responder Chris Trager.
8:46 a.m. (Responder) For safety reasons we escalated to a lockdown. There were five students potentially involved. Working on getting them all contained.
8:54 a.m. (Responder): Lifting the LOCKDOWN. All students have been identified and contained. No weapons outstanding.
Because of DIR-S, this situation which could have caused a panic and taken hours to handle was completely taken care of in a matter of roughly 30 minutes. No one was harmed, and everyone involved in the situation was able to stay informed as to the information pertinent to them.
This video is about Setting up DIR-S Notifications on iPhone. Most of the questions we get are from clients wondering why they are not receiving notifications on their mobile devices. Most of the time this is because they have simply opted out of notifications. This video shows how to correctly set up your DIR-S (duress) notifications to ensure that you receive notifications when DIR-S is used.
In this video, we run through the steps a teacher, or "base user," should take when they receive a "Lockdown" alert on DIR-S (duress).
Since DIR-S is used often in high stress situations, we have gone to great lengths to make it as user friendly and simple of a process as possible. To aid in this, we provide in this video a step-by-step rundown of what to do.
In this video, we run through an example of how to conduct an Evacuation procedure from a smartphone using DIR-S (duress). Similar procedures are used when sending out other alert types from smartphones; this particular video is taken in the context of an evacuation.
In the video above, we show how to run an Evacuation drill from your desktop app. We run through the drill from the perspective of a school administrator.
Make sure and view our blog regularly to see more DIR-S tutorial videos as they are made. They will be covering a wide variety or situations and scenarios where DIR-S can be used to handle the situation in the most effective way possible.
Happy holidays from all of us here at Tresit Group! We hope you all had a great Christmas and are lined up to have an outstanding New Years.
We are excited for this new year and the changes and adventures it will bring. There are a lot of things to look forward to with DIR-S in the coming year. We have an exciting update to DIR-S which we are confident these changes will further enhance the user experience. Additional details regarding this update can be expected in your inbox in the coming weeks.
We recently had the opportunity to meet with Thane Hutchinson, the Principal of Mount Logan Middle School. He has been using DIR-S for the past few years and had some wonderful things to say about DIR-S, and how it has helped his school
Strong gas smell filling the cafeteria, evacuate the building.
EVACUATE alert initiated at 9:07 a.m. by Site Admin (Principal) Marlo Lassider. Location Main Building - 1st Floor
9:07 a.m. (Principal): We have a strong odor of gas that was outside but can now be smelled inside the cafeteria, so out of extreme caution we are having everybody go outside.
9:08 a.m. (Assistant Principal): I’m on my way.
9:09 a.m. (Security): This is Juliette O’Hara from security. Do you want the fire department? Your Henry Spencer, your SRO is on his way now.
9:10 a.m. (Teacher 1): I am home today, but I showed my sub how DIR-S work on my desktop before I left.
9:13 a.m. (Teacher 2): We have Burton Guster and Shaun Spencer, the volunteer parents, with us.
9:26 a.m. (Teacher 3): I checked in on the offsite button, but my students and I are on a trip. I will be monitoring here on DIR-S
9:42 a.m. (Principal): We are having all students go to Despereaux Middle School where parents will be picking up students.
With such a large school and so many people in so many different places, DIR-S made this entire ordeal much more manageable than it previously might have been. Thanks to the communication medium provided by DIR-S, the situation was handled in an orderly manner, and all students, faculty, and volunteers made it home safe and responders got the gas smell taken care of.
(Names and locations changed for privacy.)
Names and Locations changed for privacy
HALL CHECK alert initiated at 8:10 a.m. by Site Admin (Principal), Elaine Benes. Location: 1st floor, office
8:10 a.m. (Dispatch): Is this a drill?
8:11 a.m. (Principal): Not a drill, looking for Frank Buffay.
8:12 a.m. (Teacher 1): He was not in class today. I was under the impression that he did not arrive at school.
8:12 a.m. (Dispatch): Do you want an incident generated?
8:12 a.m. (Principal): Yes
8:13 a.m. (Teacher 2): He is here today. I saw him leave the library as first period was starting.
Shortly after this, the missing student was accounted for. While this situation was resolved in relatively short order, when there is a student unaccounted for, it can not be taken lightly. Thanks to DIR-S, teachers, and responders were able to communicate effectively to keep everyone informed and up to date on the situation.
Names and descriptions changed for privacy.
2:18 p.m. ASSISTANCE NEEDED alert sent out by Rosa Dias (Teacher 1). Location: Main Building – 1st Floor
2:19 p.m. (Teacher 1): A student told me there is a garbage can smoking in the boys bathroom.
2:21 p.m. (Dispatch): Dispatch copies
2:22 p.m. (Principal): SRO is evaluating the situation.
2:48 p.m. Alert escalated to HALL CHECK by SRO Jake Peralta
2:48 p.m. (Dispatch): Dispatch copes
2:48 p.m. (SRO): I escalated the alert to keep kids out of the halls while I am dealing with the smoke.
2:49 p.m. (Dispatch): Copy
2:58 p.m. (Teacher 1): Raymond Holt is my student who discovered the fire. He has black hair and was wearing a yellow t-shirt. He came running back to tell me there was a fire. When you look over the camera feed look at about 2:18. That’s when Raymond came running to tell me.
2:59 p.m. (Principal): We have him in the office, thanks.
2:59 p.m. (Teacher 2): I have a student who is being checked out. Is it ok to send her to the office?
3:00 p.m. (Principal): Yes, just make sure and send them with a hall pass.
DIR-S enabled the School Resource Officer to assess the situation and keep teachers updated as the situation progressed. Doing this kept students out of the halls until the smoke cleared.
3:08 p.m. LOCKDOWN alert initiated by (Teacher 1)
3:09 p.m. (Principal): What’s the problem?
3:09 p.m. (Teacher 1): A student brought a gun.
3:11 p.m. (Principal): Police are notified and on the way. Does he still have it?
3:11 p.m. (Teacher 1): Yes. No shooting. He’s Really mad.
3:12 p.m. (Principal): Help is coming. Description of the student?
To protect the privacy of those involved, no more chat transcript will be provided.
Thankfully, police arrived on scene moments later and were able to get the situation under control without anyone being harmed. Thanks to DIR-S, the teacher was able to stay in discrete and active communication with the principal. All other teachers were able to stay up to date on the situation without any major disruptions to their classes, other than ensuring that their students stay in the room. Moreover, being able to remain in real-time communication with DIR-S helped reaction times remain at a minimum, and everyone in the school was kept safe.
Missing student HALL CHECK alert. (Names changed for privacy)
11:07 a.m. HALL CHECK alert initiated by school principal Jan Levinson
11:07 a.m. (Dispatch): Is this a drill?
11:07 a.m. (Principal): Missing student somewhere inside the school, Andrew Bernard. Not a drill, but will not be needing police at this point.
11:08 a.m. (Dispatch): Dispatch copies.
11:08 a.m. He was not in reading group this morning, and his teachers have not been able to locate him.
Shortly after this, school officials were able to locate the missing student. Even though there was not a need for police in this incident having dispatch instantly in the loop when the incident began was incredibly valuable in the event that the situation escalated to the point that police were needed. DIR-S provided the communication channels necessary to keep both police and teachers in the loop without causing any kind of commotion in the school or surrounding area.
All names are changed for privacy. See the Lockdown Alert incident below.
2:25 p.m. LOCKDOWN alert initiated by Principal
2:26 p.m. (Principal): Suspicious man in the building
2:26 p.m. (Teacher 1): Juliette is missing
2:27 p.m. (Teacher 2): Threat is inside the building.
2:29 p.m. (Teacher 3): My class and I are on a field trip, will return when safe
Thankfully, everyone was notified either on their desktops or smartphones via DIR-S (duress). Police arrived quickly and were informed accurately in the app’s chat feed. Therefore, the situation was resolved, and no one was harmed.
Having a suspicious person in the school is a situation that must always be taken seriously. DIR-S was used effectively to keep the appropriate people in or out of the school buildings. Because of the DIR-S the teacher who had his students away from the school was kept informed and he was able to keep his class away from the school until the situation was resolved.
Are you a School Principal? How do you evacuate your school? Would your school evacuation go as planned if you received a tip of a possible threat? DIR-S provides smooth and organized communication, helping everyone stick to their plans.
11:10 a.m. ASSISTANCE NEEDED alert initiated at 11:10 a.m. by Principal
11:11 a.m. (Principal): Please scan your rooms for anything unusual.
11:12 a.m. (Teacher): Are we evacuating?
11:13 a.m. (Principal): Yes
Teachers immediately started into their evacuation protocols they know so well. As they did, they notified their Principal, through DIR-S, about anything they saw that might be out of the ordinary in their rooms or in the halls.
11:16 a.m. (Principal): Make sure that as you all get to your reunification sites you send in your reports to the school secretary.
Soon, police were on scene clearing the school. Normally this incident can take hours. Using DIR-S it was resolved in under 30 minutes. This was all possible thanks to DIR-S.
Armed youth on the run.
1:17 p.m. HALL CHECK ALERT initiated by Site Admin (Principal) Maureen O’Hara. Location Main – 1 Flr – Office
1:17 p.m. (Dispatch): Is this a drill?
1:17 p.m. (Principal): This is not a drill. Keep kids in from recess but keep classes going.
1:17 p.m. (District Official): Watching from the District Office.
1:18 p.m. (Teacher 1): What is the issue?
1:18 p.m. (Police Officer): I am on scene… we are okay.
1:18 p.m. (Teacher): I have Samuel Davis Jr. in my room.
1:18 p.m. (Police Officer): We have an incident going on in the area and are taking extra precautions.
1:19 p.m. (Teacher 2): I have James Stewart in the media center.
1:19p.m. (Principal): Juvenile ran away from home in the area. Gun and mags missing. Sherriff’s office is here and monitoring.
Thankfully, the police were able to find this young man, and no one was harmed in the incident. Because of the communication medium provided by DIR-S, the happenings in the school were able to continue basically as usual, and police were able to keep the school and district officials updated throughout the situation. Especially beneficial, was the fact that they were able to avoid the panic that can easily ensue in these types of situations.
What do you do during a lockdown alert when students are outside a classroom?
Depending on the safety protocols the school/district has in place, students who are in the halls will generally be brought into the closest room.
During a recent lockdown event, several students found themselves outside of their classroom during an alert. Teachers used DIR-S to verify the locations of their students. (Names have been changed for privacy).
2:32: LOCKOUT alert initiated by Site Admin: Margret Houlihan. Location: Main Building - 1st Floor - Principal
2:33 (Teacher 1): My students are with Mr. Honeycut’s class, and I am in the conference room.
2:33 (Teacher 2): Sherman Potter should be in the office checking out.
2:33 (Teacher 3): My students are also with Mr. Honeycut’s class, and I am in the conference room with Mrs. Yamato
2:33 (School Secretary): John MacIntyre is with us in the office for his inhaler.
DIR-S provided the ability for teachers to stay informed of the location of all of their students through the duration of the lockdown alert.
As we wrap up National Safe Schools Week, we wanted to send out a huge thank you to all of our clients, and everyone who follows our web presence. School safety is such a large issue. There are always new stories in the news about incidents at schools. Thankfully, we have dedicated police and teachers who are vigilant and do everything they can to keep our schools safe. Here at Tresit Group, we are honored to have the opportunity to help out in the effort to keep kids safe while they are in school.
In a recent incident, a school was evacuated while students were between classes. DIR-S was able to notify all staff and account for missing students within four minutes.
At 9:17 a.m. this school sent out an evacuation alert because a teacher noticed mysterious steam coming from the kitchen. They quickly opened their DIR-S app and sent out the alert. Since students were in the halls when the school went into evacuation some teachers ended up having students missing from their class groups, and some had extra students.
This kind of situation brings with it a potential for serious confusion that can take hours to resolve. Thanks to DIR-S, and effective communication platform it provides, the entire situation was resolved in four minutes.
When an armed suspect entered a school this Fall, DIR-S did it’s job.
11:42 (Principal): Hall Check initiated
11:43 (District Administrator): Is this a drill?
11:43 (Principal): This is not a drill. Working with the School Resource Officer.
11:43 (Principal): Looking for a male 5'11" 180-pound grey pants/dark shirt on foot
11:45 (Police Department): Are you looking for a student?
11:45 (Principal): Not a student. We are coordinating with our SRO.
11:46 (Police Department): Do you need additional resources?
11:46 (Principal): Until the man is found, extra help would be great.
11:47 (SRO): Upstairs is cleared and locked.
11:48 (Dispatch): Law enforcement is looking for a domestic suspect who had armed himself. We have now located him.
11:48 (Dispatch): Male individual has been located and detained by outside the building by officers.
The quick communication made possible by DIR-S kept district officials, responders, and teachers safe and informed until the situation was resolved.
9:56: (Teacher sent out an “Assistance Needed” DIR-S alert) “Help please, seizure in the room.”
9:57: (Principal) “I’m on my way!”
All schools now how important it is to invest in security measures to protect against disaster situations. In a recent article from WJLA News, it sites one of the nation’s leading experts on school safety, Dr. Amy Klinger. She says, “Schools are facing all hazards. They are not just facing one hazard.”
While every school has evacuation plans, lockdown procedures, and other great systems, not every situation requires the exact same procedures every time. No matter the situation, clear communication is crucial in keeping the situation under control.
A school this week was faced with this type of situation. They had a student seize in class and needed help immediately. Thankfully, this teacher understood DIR-S, and utilized it immediately when the student seized.
The following is the transcript of the chat history for this incident. You will notice, it is short, but says all that was needed.
The principal came immediately and notified the other necessary people on the way.
Being faced with the task of keeping an entire classroom full of students under control, while taking care of a student in the middle of a grand mal seizure is a daunting task alone. Having to take the time to get on the phone and call the main office takes seconds that cannot be spared.
DIR-S allowed this teacher to instantly notify the right people, and they were on their way within a minute of the alert being sent out.
“Is the fire confirmed?”
“Confirmed, fire in the school.”
“My student, John Doe, is unaccounted for.”
“I have John Doe.”
When the fire alarm went off, this school immediately relied on muscle memory based on previous training.
While a fire alarm is, by far, the most common type of drill that schools do, many teachers initially assume that it is a drill. During this incident last week in one of our schools secured by DIR-S (duress), the teachers stayed connected via DIR-S. Through the chat messages in DIR-S, all teachers were informed in real-time that this was really a fire in the school. The rooms closest in proximity to the fire were able to make better decisions and change their evacuation routes to avoid danger.
In addition to the fire, there was a missing student. While this teacher needed to ensure the safety of the rest of their students, they worried about the one missing. They posted on the “Report” tab in DIR-S the name of the missing student, and within two minutes, another teacher responded, saying that they had the student and were evacuating him with their students. Simple, concise communication makes all the difference with DIR-S.
9:45 a.m. DIR-S alert sent out, police notified, a man seen trying to enter the building.
A student had a seizure in the hall just moments before school got out, see how DIR-S help avoid a tough situation from getting worse.
An administrator at one of our school recounted the incident. His school has had DIR-S for several years, and his staff is well versed in how it works, and how much of a benefit it can be overall. He recounted to us, an incident that occurred this week in his school.
In this incident, there was a student in the school who had a seizure in the hall. Luckily, there was a teacher nearby who promptly called 911. When she got on the phone with 911, they were able to talk her through what she needed to do to help the student who was having a seizure.
While seizures are traumatic to watch, they are infinitely more traumatic for the person seizing, and coming out of a seizure to find hundreds of students in the halls around them would only add to their distress and confusion. This is exactly the situation this teacher knew she would soon be facing because the bell was about to ring for the end of school, and the halls around her would be flooded with students.
She quickly evaluated the situation and opened up DIR-S on her smartphone, and with a touch of a button, she was able to notify all of the teachers in the school to keep their students in their rooms until the situation in the halls was taken care of.
Because the teacher acted so promptly, and the dispatch office was well versed in their use of DIR-S, an already stressful situation was handled in a much more orderly and effective manner than had previously been possible.
This is yet another great example of a proactive teacher using all her available resources, and not relying solely on one.
This past week, I have been calling our clients individually. I still have a large number of them to call, but I have been able to learn a lot from the ones I have called already.
We want our clients to know how much we appreciate them. This is why we are taking the time to call every all of them. I would like to share a couple stories from my phone calls to schools this week.
At every school, I explain who I am and why I am calling, I then ask them how DIR-S has been treating them so far this school year. At one of the schools, the principal admitted that they had not drilled with DIR-S very much last school year. This year though, they have drilled with it regularly, and it has worked flawlessly for them. He said that they were glad to have it in their school and that having it installed and being familiar with it has instilled among the faculty and staff of the school a heightened sense of security. They feel more comfortable because they know how to use their emergency communication system effectively.
This made me feel very good because it shows that even our clients sometimes take some time to truly understand how much of an asset DIR-S can be. When schools run regular drills, using DIR-S, they become more prepared to face whatever real situations might arise.
In another instance, when I was talking to the principal of the school about how their experience with DIR-S has gone so far, we were able to troubleshoot an issue that they had been having. Upon closer examination, it turned out that the issue was merely because they had not updated the new users in their admin portal. She was able to contact their district officials with access to those capabilities and rectify the situation in short order.
In this day and age, schools have staff changes every year, and with every new staff member at the school, that needs to be updated in the DIR-S system. We have made DIR-S very user-friendly, so this process can be done very painlessly. Like any system like this though, it requires the care and small time investment needed to ensure that all user locations and names are accurate.
It is exciting to see how pleased our customers are with DIR-S. There has been a lot of work put into it, and we are continually working to make it as good as it can possibly be. Reaching out to our clients and being able to learn about the experiences they are having with DIR-S has been a very rewarding project because it has allowed me to connect with our customers and hear about how they have been using DIR-S to help ensure the safety of everyone in their school.
This week our company president and founder, Cole Smith, traveled to Chicago to attend the Global Security Exchange (GSX) 2019 Conference. It combined aspects of a trade show and educational opportunities from professionals who came from all around the nation.
It is also a mecca for networking opportunities. Almost everyone in attendance has dedicated a large portion of their lives to the security of their fellow human beings, in one way or another. This kind of atmosphere provides people and companies like us to brainstorm and connect with other top industry players. This helps everyone involved to learn from each other and to come up with innovative ways to adapt their business to better meet the situations it is faced with.
While this conference had a large mix of classes and product sales, according to event organizers, this event was slightly more product focused.
Both at this conference and at the active shooter training seminar that we all went to several weeks ago at the Utah State Capitol, a lot of focus was drawn toward examining some of the strengths and weaknesses of access control systems.
While being able to instantly lock or unlock your doors at the push of a button can be a fantastic thing, it is not without its faults. When developing security protocols, it is vital to look ahead to the positive and negative possible outcomes resulting from different investments you might be looking at. The risk/reward in any kind of security investment must be taken into consideration. Access control can be a fantastic system, but like anything else, it can not be the only thing you do to secure your facility.
If you google the definition of the word, “system,” it says, “A set of things working together as a part of a mechanism or an interconnecting network.”
This is exactly what your security system needs to be. It needs to be a series of measures taken that are all able to integrate and work together to bring the best results. As the definition says, your security needs to be “A set of things working together as a part of a mechanism or an interconnecting network.” They all need to be connected and they need to work well together.
It is in this area that we devote a lot of time in our development or DIR-S.
Often, when you are trying to incorporate a new security measure to your existing system, it is common to run into difficulties in their integration. This can be a large block in getting the best systems integrated with each other, and we go to great lengths to ensure that DIR-S is able to integrate seamlessly with whatever programs and protocols our clients might have.
Events like this seminar that went on this week in Chicago are so beneficial for so many reasons. We are grateful for those who organized the event, for those who presented their products and services, and for those who taught classes.