New App Helps Oklahoma Teachers Report Emergencies

Tuesday, August 13th 2019, 7:12 pm
By: Amy Avery

Due to recent mass shootings, schools across the state of Oklahoma will now have access to an app that can send help if they're ever in trouble.

The Rave Panic Button App is an alert system that will notify school officials, law enforcement and first responders of an emergency.

Several Green Country schools came together August 13 to learn about this new app and how it works.

They said they hope they never need to use it but if they do, they’ll be prepared.

"Anybody can dial 911, no doubt about it, but you cannot tell every staff member on your campus what’s happening and when it’s happening at that moment,” said Oklahoma State Department of Education Office of Safety and Security Executive Director John Parker.

The State Department of Education just invested $3 million dollars so Oklahoma schools could have an access the Rave Panic Button app. The app has several different buttons including notifying authorities about an active shooter, fire or any other emergency. The button will also contact to prospective agencies needed to respond.

"It's now asking if I want to dial 911 and, in an emergency, I would say yes,” said Rave Mobile Safety Engagement Director, Wes Adams.

Adams said the app gives school officials the chance to see where the emergency is and what is going on giving them time to assess their response. Only certified officials can use it.

"It's not all the kids. It's not on the PA system. It's not a general announcement that panics the school it's the adults who know how to make the decisions on what to do next,” said Adams.

School officials in Norman are already using the app and Parker said they wanted other schools to have access to it as soon as possible, because response time is everything, especially in rural districts.

"Some of these guys in Eastern Oklahoma might have 25 or 30 minutes before an emergency responder could get to them,” said Parker.

App developers said it's best to have it on your personal phone because in an emergency you're going to pick up the phone you're comfortable using.

“They will run past the house phone, they will run past their friends’ phone, they will go to the phone they're comfortable with,” said Adams. “We want them to have used the app enough and to have made it part of their lives and their drills so when they think of calling 911, they think of using the app to do it."

Continuing to make student safety the top priority.

"As a teacher, as a school administrator, as a representative of the state department of ed, were not here to just educate, we've got to do so much more,” said Parker.

The State Department of Education said as soon as school officials are trained on this app, they'll be able to implement it in their own districts.

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