By Paige Nash
All Webster Parish teachers in K-12 public schools now have access to a “panic button.” The purpose of the “panic button” is to increase the emergency response time in the event of a threat, shooting, fire or any other emergency that may threaten the health or safety of students and staff. If the button is ever initiated in the case of an emergency, a voice call will be made to the Webster Parish 911 center, while simultaneously notifying the rest of the school staff members.
The button is accessible through the RAVE system and is a free app that must be downloaded and installed on the cellphones of teachers and staff members.
This system was first introduced to the Webster Parish schools in 2019 and, now under the direction of the school board, every public school has entered information into the RAVE system. Webster Parish 911 will receive this notification on what is called the Rave Command View, which is essentially a large online map that has been installed in their call center. This map allows them access to the exact location of the emergency, right down to the classroom.
Since this is under the provision of the school board, private schools are not eligible at this time, as well as any school or daycare that is not K-12. Executive Director of Webster Parish E-911 Communications, Angie Chapman hopes this will not always be the case with the assistance of Webster Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
“We met with one private school earlier this week and presented the information to them, and as predicted, they are excited for this resource,” said Chapman. “We have plans to attend another meeting shortly to provide information to staff members about the use of the button and help with any training needs they may have.”
Chapman has been working with RAVE over the last few weeks to have a separate organization, Webster Parish Private Schools, set up within their infrastructure. The goal is to also have all Pre-K, daycares and Montessori schools entered into the system under the existing public-school or the newly created private school organizations.
The 911 call center would receive the “panic button” alerts for the additional schools in the same fashion as the public schools when the project is complete.