Richard Atwill, Superintendent of the Blytheville School District, addressed two state legislative committees at Arkansas Northeastern College in Blytheville this week. Members of the Local 911 Systems Blue Ribbon Committee and the Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee heard from Dr. Atwill about how his school district was the first in the state to test the effectiveness of the statewide K-12 Panic Button, shortly after it was implemented in every Arkansas K-12 school last year. The superintendent said Rave's Panic Button saved the life of a Blytheville High School teacher when she experienced a serious medical emergency. The school nurse used the Panic Button mobile app and within seconds an ambulance was on its way.
After the passage of Act 950, the 2015 School Safety Act, Arkansas became the first state in the nation to implement the Panic Button system statewide. In the second year following implementation, the system covers over 1,050 schools, including 259 school districts and charter schools, and protects over 476,000 Arkansas students and over 39,000 school faculty and staff. The Panic Button System also provides more than 3,900 floor plans and emergency documents to first responders and covers 108 different 9-1-1 centers. When the mobile app is activated, the teacher or other user has an option to choose to indicate to emergency responders whether the emergency is an active shooter, fire, medical, police or other 9-1-1 emergency. Designated on-site school personnel and local 9-1-1 personnel are notified simultaneously. School floor plans are a component of the Panic Button system to enable emergency responders to immediately pinpoint the exact location of the emergency.
Ted Mullenix, a spokesman for Rave Mobile Safety, told committee members that Rave has developed an Arkansas K-12 Panic Button certification for emergency responders through partnerships with the Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training, Arkansas Department of Health, and the Arkansas Fire Training Academy. To date, enrollees include 445 fire department personnel, 181 police department personal, 161 telecommunications personnel and 16 EMS first responders.