Safety @ our fingertips

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The Rave Panic Button is a new, up and coming app that alerts authorities immediately to an emergency at the press of a button. It’s a quick and efficient way to call an emergency response, as it speed dials the nearest available police department, fire department or hospital. The first two school systems in the nation, The Everett and Monroe school districts have adopted this new app in their schools.

The average school shooting lasts anywhere from seven to 15 minutes, according to a number of studies done by the U.S Department of Education and the U.S. Secret Service. The average police response time, however, is 11 to 12 minutes.

This new app makes response times more efficient by sending texts out to teachers and staff in a person’s area so that other teachers in the area may be aware of new dangers near them. It also notifies key personnel, such as the police and sends critical information to 911 through a new text messaging system. The app also has emergency call capabilities so that a person may immediately call 911 at any time.

While the app is free for everyone, it is intended for use in businesses, schools and other organizations.

To use the app, a person would have to unlock their phone, open the app and then hold down button for five seconds, indicating whether the emergency is an active shooter, or pertaining to police, fire or medical concerns. At that point, the proper authorities are alerted.

“Rapid response is critical to saving lives in an emergency,” according to info from the Rave Panic Button app makers.

As the Rave Panic Button comes into effect, teachers have different opinions on its potential. Psychology teacher Kimberly Nelson said she thinks the app could be useful and beneficial, but the Edmonds School District (ESD) already has a district-wide process for such emergency situations.

However, not everyone thinks the app would be effective. Choir teacher T.J. Sullivan said the new ESD plan is more efficient than an app could be.

“I don’t think [the app would be helpful at MTHS]. I think we are just now evolving some sort of an emergency plan and they’re doing it at a district level,” Sullivan said.

Student teacher Octavio De La Cruz said he also doesn’t think the app would work as well and that calling 911 would be just as efficient.

“I would promote [the app] if you only had to press one button. It sounds like you have to press and press and press. That’s a lot of steps,” De La Cruz said. “I would rather just call 911. It would be good if it was just a one button press. It would be a faster response if you only had to click one button.”

Many Snohomish County schools have received a grant for a paid subscription of the app. Everett School District received $800,000, Monroe School District $41,880, and the Arlington School District $34,992. Marysville did not receive a grant, but has decided to use the app as well. Stanwood-Camano, Sultan and Lakewood have joined Everett and Monroe School Districts in using the app. Arlington, Snohomish and Marysville school districts are still fixing some glitches in the app. Other school districts are looking into it as well.

“With Rave Panic Button, we’ve worked closely with our customers and leveraged that experience and our public safety grade infrastructure to create a unique and powerful solution to improve school safety,” Tom Axbey, president and CEO of the Rave Panic Button said in a company press release.

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