This article originally appeared on News 5 Cleveland. To view the original article, click here.
FAIRVIEW PARK, Ohio — At the start of this school year, Fairview Park City Schools introduced its state-of-the-art Raptor Alert System for every employee across the district.
“The Raptor app actually gives the user the ability to contact 911 directly through the app, so it’s not a separate phone call. They can text message if they’re not in a place where they can talk,” said Fairview Park City School District Director of Operations Michael Matthews.
But Matthews says the district feels this new technology is the best approach to help save lives if an emergency like a tornado or active shooter situation did occur.
“Easy enough, I hit that button, and in order to execute it, you actually have to slide and initiate,” said Matthews.
Every employee who has the app downloaded on their personal or work device will receive an alert where the emergency is active and can respond accordingly.
“Collectively, if we’re all a part of the solution, it’s such a powerful approach for us,” said Matthews.
Matthews says what’s even more helpful is that every Fairview Park Police officer’s phone and the fire chief has access to this app, too.
“We had a drill our first week of school at our high school, and the officer who responded was here in less than one minute,” said Matthews.
This quick response gives teachers like Susan Morrison peace of mind.
“Now that we have the app, we’ve practiced it, and we will continue to practice it, so if there was an emergency or something, this is something we could utilize,” said Daycare Coordinator Susan Morrison.
“It’s that whole concept that we talked about years ago of see something, say something. We’ve kind of transposed that for our district of see something, do something,” said Matthews.
It’s important to note that only staff members and police with certified credentials can access the app. This means it’s not available to parents and students.